Eugenio Dittborn (b. 1943) published this text in the first issue of La Separata (1981–83). His piece questions the “Texto legible y Texto visible” [see the ICAA Digital Archive (732022)], a collage of quotations described in the publication as “acrylic writing, mosaics of captions, images and literature in the streets.” The authors include the theorist Ronald Kay, the theorist and cultural critic Nelly Richard (b. 1948), the writer Diamela Eltit (b. 1949), and the essayist Adriana Valdés (b. 1943), to mention a few Chileans; the list also mentions theorists such as Walter Benjamin, Susan Sontag, and Marshall McLuhan. In addition to Dittborn’s text, the publication includes a photograph of a building in Santiago that is covered with posters advertising assorted brands of products, making it look like another collage about the effects of the new economic conditions imposed in Chile by the neoliberal policies of the Chicago Boys, the ministers appointed by the civilian-military dictatorship. The artist Carlos Gallardo (b. 1954) took the photograph.
La Separata was co-edited by Nelly Richard, the artist Carlos Altamirano (b. 1954), and the sociologist Fernando Balcells (b. 1950), who was a member of the art action group C.A.D.A. (Colectivo Acciones de Arte). The magazine, which appeared six times, provided a platform for a succession of debates about art and culture during the dictatorship. [See the following texts, also published in the magazine: (731548), (734895), and (731874).] The Escena de Avanzada was fertile ground for the blending of art and writing. Richard suggested that there was also an Escena de la escritura, a writing scene. In her essay “La escritura crítica y su efecto: una reflexión preliminar” (738636), Valdés (b. 1943) described it as “a sort of underground writing.” Following Richard’s ideas, that scene naturally addressed art production as well as literature, philosophy, and feminist criticism.
In addition to his complex body of work, Eugenio Dittborn has also written about it at a theoretical level. [See “Caja de herramientas” (doc. 732125) and “La tortilla corredoraaaaaah, catorce tumbos” (748842), both by Dittborn.] His work has appeared in a number of publications and in a project undertaken with the theorist Ronald Kay (1941–2017): their discussion about photography from a Latin American perspective appeared in the book Del espacio de acá. Señales para una mirada americana (About This Space Here. Signs for an American Point of View, 1980).