Denotación de una ciudad (Denotation of a City)

Carlos Ginzburg

La Plata, Argentina, 1946
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Photographic emulsion on acetate
  • Descriptive technique: 
    Group of five photographic negative strips with twenty-seven images
  • Dimensions: 
    35 mm
  • Edition/serial number: 
    Unique copy
  • Category: 
    Photography, Action
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 
  • Donation of the author, 2010

Multiple artwork

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The Argentinean Carlos Ginzburg was a member of the Movimiento Diagonal Cero in the 1960s and of the CAYC and the Grupo de los Trece in the 1970s. At first, he experimented with Neo-Dadaist practices, derived from Marcel Duchamp and learnt from his teacher Edgardo Antonio Vigo, his projects circumscribed by visual poetry, conceptual art and performance.
Ginzburg was one of the international artists who participated in the Encuentros de Pamplona in 1972, where he carried out one of his public actions; Denotación de una ciudad (Denotation of a City), which included reference signs and the use of tautological text. This particular action consisted of the artist walking around the city with a sign saying “Estoy señalizando una ciudad” (I am signposting a city), thus declaring the city of Pamplona itself a work of art. At the same time, Ginzburg gave out pamphlets containing the touristic definition of Pamplona, in which people were asked to get involved in the project and to do their own artistic experiments, highlighting the idea of the dematerialisation and expansion of a work of art.
The actions, taken as a whole, emphasise the appropriation of the everyday through action, turning the action into an artistic work by means similar to Duchamp’s ready-mades. Ginzburg’s implication was that any event, situation or context could be made into art, as could the creative potential of all humans.

Salvador Nadales