Tucumán Arde [Tucumán Is Burning] is the most famous collective production of emerging vanguard art in Argentina, both in Buenos Aires and Rosario, and it took place at the turning point of the artists’ political and artistic radicalization in 1968. Its design implied a complex process of research and counter-information as well as a mass-media campaign. Given the fact that they were an integral part of the investigation, many artists (mostly from Rosario) traveled to Tucumán for a second time in October 1968. It was in that province that, with the support of trade-union members, journalists, and other collaborators, the artists developed an underground registry of work pertaining to the social situation of sugar mills (closed by then), schools, hospitals, and so forth, seeking information that would evidence the official campaign’s deception respecting the so-called Operativo Tucumán. A variety of media was used, including recordings, photographs, and films.
This second declaration from Rosario, dated October 1968, partially reformulates the basic ideas behind the group’s collective production, which had been briefly outlined in the document titled “El Grupo de Plásticos Argentinos de Vanguardia...” [The Vanguard Argentine Visual Artists Group].
The artists signed Tucumán Arde documents using various names. Since 1966, the Rosario group had maintained the denomination “Grupo de Arte de Vanguardia de Rosario”; yet after they merged with artists from Buenos Aires, who did not have a collective name, the group used various names, such as Grupo de Artistas de Vanguardia, Grupo de Artistas Argentinos de Vanguardia, Grupo de Plásticos Argentinos de Vanguardia, Comisión de Artistas de la CGT de los Argentinos, and even Comité Coordinador para la Imaginación Revolucionaria. Some documents are signed with one of these generic names; others were not signed at all; and some of them contain a large list of first names.