Amalgama, the cultural programme dedicated to championing women artists from Latin America, Spain and Portugal, in partnership with the Instituto Cervantes in the United Kingdom, invites you to participate in a series of online conversations, studio tours and seminars exploring the dialogue between art and literature in Latin America.
The collaboration between art and literature has been a critical component of Latin American aesthetic development during the twentieth century. Many of the region’s avant-garde movements were a result of the direct collaboration between artists and writers in steering each country's cultural debate and introducing new visual and textual styles. Magazines and journals such as Martin Fierro, Arturo, Plástica, Amauta, Prima and Círculo y Cuadrado were fundamental in breaking away from traditional perspectives and generating new discourses and lines of research both on the continent and abroad.
Furthermore, during the 50s and 60s, research on semiology introduced the possibility for the written word to be considered both a form of representation and a visual shape in its own right. This new exploration gave a particular prevalence to form over content allowing artists to discover new meanings of significance and introduce a new formal language into the visual arts. Concrete and Neo-Concrete artists in Brazil and the Constructivist artists in Argentina and Uruguay, among others, employed geometry, mixed with marks and words as interchangeable signs to create a new visual universe that would break the limits between art and literature.
Finally, with the international art scene turning towards conceptualism, artists worldwide started to give a prominent role to language in the visual arts as words, rather than the visual form, allowed them to give more emphasis to ideas. However, the socio-political circumstances in Latin America required artists to go beyond this theoretical approach of conceptual art. The woven mesh between art and literature was needed to create a tool that would transform the relationship between politics, art and text in countries controlled by authoritarian regimes and limited by increasing censorship policies.
To coincide with UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day, Amalgama Forum brings together artists, curators, academics and writers to discuss ideas on these subjects and their relevance in the contemporary cultural practices of Latin America. Join us for this series of lively discussions and visual explorations!