“Intervención viernes 20 de mayo” is the second presentation by the art critic and curator Justo Pastor Mellado (b. 1949) at the Seminario de interpretación de la cuyuntura (sic) plástica (1983), the seminar held at the TAV (Taller de Artes Visuales). This second intervention was also called “Grabado al agua fuerte (segunda parte),” an unpublished text written in 1981 after the publication of “Texto sobre Tránsito suspendido de Carlos Altamirano” [see the ICAA Digital Archive (731739)], an exhibition that Altamirano (b. 1954) presented in and around the Galería Sur that included reproductions of traditional paintings from Chile’s art history. Written for that event, Mellado focused on how the artist used the camera.
The discussion about photography and its role in the visual arts prompted an important debate in the 1970s and 1980s. Both the theorist Ronald Kay (1941–2017) and Eugenio Dittborn started the discussion in the book Del Espacio de Acá; señales para una mirada americana (1980). The following year Dittborn published “Fallo fotográfico” [Photo Finish] in which Mellado acknowledges Kay’s importance by stating that his hypothesis concerning the negative and the camera would not have been possible without the discussion he started, despite the fact that he reached different conclusions.
Both Mellado’s second text and his other two interventions at the TAV show how the art field was not only focused on artworks, but also gave special importance to writing and encouraged discussion on art, history, and the sociopolitical situation. [On the subject of the other two interventions, see “Intervención viernes 13 de mayo” (doc. 749169) and “Intervención viernes 3 de Junio” (doc. 749190)]. In this presentation Mellado compares approaches with the C.A.D.A. (Colectivo Acciones de Arte, active from 1979–85), whose emergence was announced with a manifesto about art and the political situation [see “Una ponencia del C.A.D.A.” (doc. 732133) which was jointly written by the group].