Texto legible y texto visible [Legible Text and Visible Text] (1981) is a collage of quotes that was published in La Separata (1981–83). This magazine was co-edited by the cultural critic Nelly Richard (b. 1948), 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 provided a platform for a number of debates about art and culture during the authoritarian regime of General Augusto Pinochet. [See the ICAA Digital Archive for the following texts from this publication: (731548), (734895), and (731874).]
The Escena de Avanzada was characterized by a fertile confluence of art production and writing. Richard therefore suggested that there was also an Escena de la escritura [Writing Scene]. The essayist Adriana Valdés (b. 1943), in her text “La escritura crítica y su efecto: una reflexión preliminar” (738636), described it as “a semi-underground sort of writing.” Following Richard’s approach, this scene was focused on art production as well as literature, philosophy, and feminist criticism. This document, in particular, sheds light on the relationship between artworks and written works. I am referring here to some of the landmark events through quotes: Proyecciones en dif. esc., the text by the theorist Ronald Kay (1941–2017) about Delachilena pinturahistoria, the exhibition of works by Eugenio Dittborn (b. 1943) published in V.I.S.U.A.L. —the book produced by the eponymous theoretical, artistic, and editorial group started by Kay, Dittborn, and the artist Catalina Parra (b. 1940). Texts by Richard and Diamela Eltit (b. 1949) about the exhibition Visualizaciones del purgatorio de Raúl Zurita (Galería Cal, Santiago, 1980), for which Carlos Leppe (1952–2015), Carlos Altamirano (b. 1953), and Dittborn created artworks based on Purgatorio [Purgatory], the book published in 1979. Dávila: El Cuerpo en / De la Pintura de Dávila / Fragmentos, the solo show of works by Juan Domingo Dávila (b. 1946) at the Galería CAL, is referred to in the essay that Richard wrote for the catalogue.
Given the scene’s focus on critical reflection, its members relied on and conversed with a number of theorists, including Walter Benjamin, whose influence was discussed at length by Richard in “Roturas, memoria y discontinuidades (homenaje a W. Benjamin)” (736059), in which she highlighted the role of photography, anti-historicist criticism, and the excerpt as articulable ways in which to create a memoir. As regards literary work, the selection includes the Mexican novelist Salvador Elizondo and the Cuban writer Severo Sarduy (who lived in Paris).