Brazil and the 1970s
Latin American and Caribbean Arts and Culture Publication Initiative, Mellon Foundation
Published by: University of Texas Press
238 pages, 178.00 x 254.00 x 15.00 mm
- ISBN: 9781477308585
- Published: January 2016
From currency and maps to heavily censored newspapers and television programming, Art Systems explores visual forms of critique and subversion during the height of Brazilian dictatorship, drawing sometimes surprising connections between artistic production and broader processes of social exchange during a period of authoritarian modernization. Positioning the works beyond the prism of politics, Elena Shtromberg reveals subtle forms of subversion and critique that reinvented the artists’ political terrain.
Analyzing key examples from Cildo Meireles, Antonio Manuel, Artur Barrio, Anna Bella Geiger, Sonia Andrade, Geraldo Mello, and others, the book offers a new framework for theorizing artistic practice. By focusing on the core economic, media, technological, and geographic conditions that circumscribed artistic production during this pivotal era, Shtromberg excavates an array of art systems that played a role in the everyday lives of Brazilians. An examination of the specific historical details of the social systems that were integrated into artistic production, this unique study showcases works that were accessed by audiences far outside the confines of artistic institutions. Proliferating during one of Brazil’s most socially and politically fraught decades, the works—spanning cartography to video art—do not conform to an easily identifiable style, form, material use, or medium. As a result of this breadth, Art Systems gives voice to the multifaceted forces at play in a unique chapter of Latin American cultural history.
- Chapter 1: Currency
- Chapter 2: Newspapers
- Chapter 3: Television
- Chapter 4: Maps
- Appendix: Artist Biographies
Rich in insightful historical details, Art Systems is an extremely valuable tool for researchers interested not only in the cultural politics of the 1970s but also in how the discourses and debates of this period constitute the roots of the current crisis and the artistic responses it has elicited.~Journal of Latin American Studies
Art Systems is a brilliantly lucid, well-written reading of major and minor artists from the [1970s] and will be of interest to scholars of global conceptualism, political art, contemporary art, Brazilian studies, and Latin American studies. The breadth and range of its analysis is impressive.~Latin American & Latinx Visual Culture
A laserfocused accounting of how a handful of Brazilian artists used popular systems to expose and interrogate government actions. [Art Systems] is one of those rare books that, although a recent publication, has made such an impact on the study of Brazilian art that it feels like a canonical text.~Latin American Research Review