This text by the artist and professor Alberto Pérez (1926–1999) appeared in the catalogue for Chile Vive, the exhibition presented in 1987 at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. The goal of this exhibition was to expose Spanish audiences to Chilean artistic and cultural production in the fields of photography, architecture, painting, sculpture, literature, and communications media from 1973 to 1986, the years marked by authoritarian rule under a fascist dictatorship. The exhibition sought to show that works of this kind were still being produced, one way or another, in spite of the restrictions imposed by the regime’s censorship.
In his essay “Un Arte específicamente Americano” Pérez stresses the importance of reflection based on a local perspective, challenging European and North American influences and keeping them at arm’s length. He defines a work of art as “the product of mutations and collisions, encounters and reactions” that happen during the extremely long and complex process of cultural evolution. In the text Pérez reminisces about earlier decolonization readings (see the ICAA Digital Archive 784839).
In the text, which draws on extensive research and knowledge of the Latin American situation, Pérez combines politics with the fields of research and art. For more information on these subjects, see “Alberto Pérez” by Francisco Brugnoli (doc. 756960).