This essay—from the proposal/script for Acerca de la poesía de acción, the performance by Diego Barboza (1945–2003)—is essential reading for any assessment of its results, both because it is the written record of that performance and because it includes Barboza’s conceptualized version of his work. Acerca de la poesía de acción was a collective experience; it was performed at “Acciones frente a la Plaza,” the 1981 Caracas event sponsored by FUNDARTE and coordinated by Marco Antonio Ettedgui. It was also performed in the exhibition hall at the government building in Caracas on June 19, 20, and 21. Barboza had created similar performances before, such as: “Ponte un sombrero y acompáñanos” (London, 1970); “Con sombreros y redes en calles de París” (Paris, 1970); “Cachicamo I” (Caracas, 1973); and “Protesta en azul, blanco y rojo” (Caracas, 1981).
In this group performance, Barboza once again uses objects: in this case hats that he makes from waste materials, which encourage collective activities. When members of the public perform the activities in the street, they create the work and become the subject-actors in the event. The performance challenged the dominant “traditional” media in official Venezuelan art circles at the time and proposed a “new” form of visual discourse.
Acerca de la poesía de acción was filmed by Carlos Castillo. Barboza’s proposal/script was compiled by María Elena Ramos and published in the book Acciones frente a la Plaza. Reseñas y documentos de siete eventos para una nueva lógica del arte venezolano (Caracas: Fundarte, 1995).