Eztetyka del sueño is one of five exhibitions from Versiones del Sur dedicated to Latin American art and held simultaneously at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Sabatini building, the Palacio de Velázquez and Palacio de Cristal between late 2000 and early 2001. With various curators, the five exhibitions look at the particularities, connections and fragmentation of Latin American art since its beginnings until its most recent artistic creations from different points of view.
Specifically, Eztetyka del sueño occupies two locations: El Palacio de Cristal, where Brazilian Cildo Meireles’ installation titled A través (1983-89) is also found and the Palacio de Velázquez, where twenty works by twelve Latin American artists of diverse backgrounds are exhibited.
The title of this exhibition was originally the second manifesto written by filmmaker Glauber Rocha, founder and prominent activist of the Brazilian Cinema Novo. In this text, Rocha theorises a model of artistic production, characterised by the confluence of three factors: the political, subjective and mythical elements. The exhibition traces the development of this production model with a group of installations, video art and performances that range from the Sixties to the present.
The curators of the exhibition, Argentine Carlos Basualdo and the Canarian Octavio Zaya, base themselves on, in addition to Rocha’s manifesto, the contribution of the Argentine philosopher Enrique Dussel, a member of the group of intellectuals who formulate the Liberation Theology in the late sixties. This movement is described by the curators as one of the major philosophical trends produced in Latin America during the twentieth century; it is a materialistic and existential interpretation of the New Testament.
From the first decade the cinematographic works Dios y el diablo en la Tierra del Sol (1964), Tierra en trance (1967) and El dragón de la maldad contra el santo guerrero, (1969) by Glauber Rocha are shown, as well as two other feature-length films in 1970 and 1980. The Seventies are symbolised by Cildo Meireles’ work, censored at the time: El sermón de la montaña: Fiat Lux (1973-1979). Added to this is Victor Grippo’s work entitled Valijita de panadero (1977), a sculpture who turns a piece of burnt bread into something worthy to be transported and which is exhibited along with three other pieces by the Argentine artist, including the installation La comida del artista (1991).
Other installations such as Tenebrae, noviembre 7, 1985 (1999-2000) by Doris Salcedo; El ignoto (1996) by Arthur Barrio, Lonquén (1989) by Gonzalo Díaz, Verde por fuera, rojo por dentro (1993) by Meyer Vaisman and El mirador (Proyecto Universalis) (1995-1996) and Salón de los espejos (1997) by Luis Camnitzer, coexist alongside a video art piece by Juan Fernando Herrán and the videoinstallation In God We Trust (1991) by José Antonio Hernández-Díez, in the same space planned for the E.A.A (Espantos, Aspirados, Ansiosos (Frights, Aspiring, Eager)) performances by Tunga and Una cosa es una cosa by María Teresa Hincapié.
The collection of works for the exhibition at the Palacio de Velázquez highlights the similarities between the formulations articulated in the doctrine of the liberation theology and the practices of a group of Latin American artists, formed mostly during these decades. Also included is a group of young artists whose work shows the effects of the ideals of the Sixties today, despite not being attached directly to them.