Urgent Action

Urgent Action

Fundación Proa

July 5, 2014

Urgent Action
South American artists seize the city

July 5–August 24, 2014

Fundación Proa
Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1929
La Boca, Caminito
Buenos Aires
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday

T (+54 11) 4104 1000
info [​at​] proa.org

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This exhibition brings together for the first time a selection of urban actions and performances from the last two decades by South American artists collectives. The exhibition Acción Urgente (Urgent Action) is the result of exhaustive research by Cecilia Rabossi and Rodrigo Alonso. It explores the actions carried out by interdisciplinary groups of artists from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay during the last 20 years, all of which form part of a phenomenon that became vital to the region’s art scene during this period.

The following collectives are included in the exhibition: Escombros, Costuras Urbanas, Etcétera (Internacional Errorista), Viva Laura Pérez, Mujeres Públicas e Iconoclasistas (Argentina); Mujeres Creando (Bolivia); Frente 3 de Fevereiro, Opavivará, and Contrafilé (Brazil); Cuadernos de Movilización (Chile); Javier López & Erika Meza (Paraguay); Colectivo Sociedad Civil and La Perrera (Peru); and Clemente Padín and Grupo Mujeres Artistas en Movimiento (MAM) (Uruguay).

In response to the surrounding political, social, and economic realities, these groups have deployed artistic practices geared to making an array of issues visible. The works in the exhibition evidence the originality, spontaneity, and range of aesthetic resources used in actions that engage the public space of the city as setting. Such actions include the satirical and provocative laughter of Grupo Etcétera as, in the nineties, it staged public denouncements of those involved in perpetrating repression during the last military dictatorship in Argentina; the reinvention of graffiti by the Mujeres Creando collective in Bolivia; and the original proposals of Frente 3 de Fevereiro in Brazil to condemn racism. Together, these and other outstanding proposals shape the dialogue that runs through the exhibition.

“The works of these groups respond to immediate socio-political contexts and challenge naturalized conducts with proposals that address—among other things—gender issues, racial discrimination, indigenismo, political inequality, and alienation. They question the art institution as well as certain social structures but, unlike activist groups, their critical moment lies in poetic actions,” state the curators.

The artists collectives included in this exhibition challenge individual creation for the sake of highly political collective authorship. They operate at the margins of institutions and use the mass media to circulate, produce, and communicate their actions. As such, these collectives formulate new modes of aesthetic and political experimentation in the public space. 

The actions and performances in Acción Urgente provide an overview of extremely contemporary forms of expression that, nonetheless, form part of a rich tradition in Latin American art that engages the urban environment to critically confront reality.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Ternium and Tenaris divisions of the Techint Group. It is the most recent in a series of exhibitions at Proa that reflect on the relationship between contemporary art and the city. Past exhibitions in this series include City Editings (1999), curated by Catherine David; Espacios Urbanos (2009), a photographic overview of international cities; and Buenos Aires (2013), a sharp reflection on the Argentine capital.

Acción Urgente seminar: Within the framework of the exhibition, on Tuesday, July 8 an Acción Urgente seminar will be held. The event is a day-long workshop that, based on the groups and collectives featured in the exhibition, attempts to map the various forms and strategies of intervention that engage the city as setting. The workshop, which will be held at Proa, provides an opportunity to learn about the history of each of the participating groups and its actions, and to dialogue with its protagonists.


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July 5, 2014

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