Autonomous, not independent


Encuentro de Gestiones Autónomas de
Artes Visuales Contemporáneas. Córdoba, Argentina.
photo: Ivana Maritano.  july 3rd, 2011

[Versión en Español]

The last fifteen years of artistic and discursive production in Argentina are characterized by important innovations related to the work ways, linkage and circulation of contemporary art.

Concepts such as «local scene» and «independent management» organize and enhance the efforts and actions of artists and managers; creating and strengthening relationships; developing tactical agreements and strategic alliances that densify the scene and require the economic, political and labor skills utmost of those who participate in the art system, for the establishment of an actual relationship between contemporary art, culture and society.

That is why, for five days, we brought together prominent art managers who have participated in this process- to converse, debate and test their hypothesis and beliefs; to understand the singularity of their local environments; to share their experiences, achievements and failures, among other topics.

Our work, in partnership, with Argentine autonomous art management groups -dating from Sparring Tour / Analysis of the artwork´s argumentative defense in 2009- has been widely successful and prolific because we have decided to establish affective and effective interactions.

Effective: because diagnosis, plan and program require the establishment of responsibilities and objectives of all those involved. But also they must be accomplished to tight deadlines; so as cultural interventions develop and give internal cohesion to each art scene; in the sense of establishing quality parameters and increasing the labor division and specialization, which redounds in the field´s professionalization.

Affective: because it is desire that compels us to set in motion contemporary art in our provinces and to face the difficulties of this -and every- enterprise.

Affective: because friendship allows the necessary trust, the brutal honesty and the persistence of ideas (always considered provisional hypothesis) throughout mutual agreement and ongoing review.

Affective and effective because we work in the coincidence of interests, but with respect to discrepancy.

That is why we had the idea to materialize a forum for contemporary art managers.

Many and various were the reasons for its accomplishment. Among them: to produce an instance of exchange, dialogue and collective thinking.

A space that would allow us to jointly- establish a diagnosis and an assessment of our work; as well as to identify shared problems and ways of thinking about collaborative resolutions.

But also we cannot deny it- we produced this meeting to strengthen the links created in two years of work, research and friendship.

A production, finally, to enable new interactions and exchanges.

Furthermore, to try out the diagrams that we had made during those long conversations that followed the art clinics and seminars on art theory and criticism.

To confirm what we have already presumed: together we are not only more, but better; we can coordinate actions without forcing the agreements since dissension makes us wiser and more political.

We were saying that every art manager has a diagnosis, a plan and program. A diagnosis of what it is happening in his/her immediate environment (his/her city, province); a general plan that organizes his/her wishes and the desired outcomes, and a work program with his/her associates. The whole organizes the field of action and generates a tendency.

Many times, this is not explicit. It is often a spontaneous agreement, a coincidental glossary, a scope built by circumstances. And our job as contemporary art researchers is to understand these relationships, explore the reasons (strategic and tactical) of their concealment, their intentions, collect information and names and determine their efficiencies.

Therefore as in a Criminal Minds episode- we sat down to make profiles from the objectives, activities and practices of everyone of the long list- of art managers that we had in mind for this convention.

Our idea was not to build a success showcase because we do not need peacocks; but an effective debate on the ideas that bring us together and the actions which organize us.

To face to confront- the explicitation of the provisional assumptions that managers considered when starting, when they convert in acts and facts their views of the world and art. So as they do not turn into a mantra that transforms each finding in an empty signifier, which organizes small multitudes and turn us into militants. So as they do not become a slogan, or a dictum to obey.

We have argued -in different articles about Argentine art clinics and residences held in South America- that the model induces to errors. On this, we put special care.

Thus, we considered for this convention, activities in three complementary areas: debate, education and diffusion.

In the discussion round tables, we talked about the experiences related to the provincial, national and international fields because we understand that each of these areas require specific managing skills.

In the workshops we suggested six topics to be problematized by the invited managers. They could discuss and modify them, emphasizing the critical account of their experiences and the realization of a practical exercise to be resolved in each workshop.

As a result, we worked on i) management strategies: self-financing and relationships of articulation or tension- with public cultural policies; ii) contemporary art autonomous managements that prescind from the financial costs of renting a place and make medium-term agreements with other institutions and also periodic interventions in public spaces; iii) the ways to address critically to art history in the extreme cases where there is a high rate of institutionalization and where it has not yet been developed; iv) the utopian and heterotopic approaches when starting projects for the establishment of a local contemporary art scene; v) visibility, specialization and professionalization strategies of cultural agents required to make the need for contemporary art, in virgin contexts, grow; and finally vi) the problem of the production of art pieces specially made for the exhibition space how that space also builds the artwork.

During the portfolios presentations, the art managers made a brief summary of their work, the activities undertaken and the artists who they have collaborated with; and last -but not least- they gave account for errors and failures that they had to cope with.

In addition and under the premise of trying to understand what has been their influence in their immediate environment; they talked about the relationships they had with the mass media and the feedback of individuals and institutions.

The turmoil of those days, the public discussions and hallway conversations, the ways of trying to figure out what we would do now that we know what we can do now that we measure our impact and our deceased-; all that does not allow us to have firm conclusions. What we have is a state of the situation: we want more.

Finally, why autonomous and not independent? For independence -in its enunciation- holds domination and the correlatively emancipation, and we do not believe in any authority to liberate us from.

Also, because we believe in co-dependence as a system of work, friendship and desire. Because we care and need each other, but we know that all this does not imply the subordination to a manifesto, the supremacy of some objectives over others, or forcing others to fit into our concepts because -for us- contemporary art is not a militia or a corporation, although sometimes it is the most efficient way to run it. Because for us contemporary art is â-no more, no less- a system to question reality.

We agree on something, this is our bias: art is a way of doing politics, to generate consensus on the non-agreement in order to build citizenship. To connect societies in a way that dissent would be as valuable as consent: so each other´s decisions, put to test what we take for granted, so each artwork -each exhibition, each text- becomes a crossroads, a point that opens a debate; that enables some thinking tools; that allows us to know that the other is not more of the same, but a challenge that enriches us.

Jorge Sepúlveda T.
Independent Curator
Curatoría Forense

Ilze Petroni
Art Researcher
Curatoría Forense

visit the website of Encuentro de Gestiones Autónomas de Artes Visuales Contemporáneas. (en español)

Instituciones organizadoras:

  • Curatoría Forense.
  • Casa Trece / Córdoba, Argentina.
  • Secretaría de Cultura de la Provincia de Córdoba / Argentina.

Equipo de trabajo:

  • Jorge Sepúlveda T., Curador Independiente / Curatoría Forense.
  • Ilze Petroni, Investigadora de Arte Contemporáneo / Curatoría Forense.
  • Aníbal Buede, Artista y Gestor / Casa 13, Córdoba, Argentina.
  • Alejandro Londero / Córdoba, Argentina.

Gestores Invitados:

  • Aníbal Buede / Casa 13, Córdoba.
  • Alejandra Hernández / Estudio 13, General Roca.
  • Berny Garay Pringles / Artista y curador independiente, San Juan.
  • Bruno Juliano / Espacio Cripta + Cúmulo, Tucumán.
  • Facundo Burgos / Fundación del Interior + ED Contemporáneo, Mendoza.
  • Fernanda Aquere / Germina Campos, Santa Fe.
  • Irina Sbovoda / Galería Nómade, Comodoro Rivadavia.
  • Javier El Vázquez / SiTA – Sitios Tangentes, Tucumán.
  • Lila Siegrist / Anuario, Rosario.
  • Lorraine Green / Donde se juntan las aguas, Bariloche.
  • María Lightwoler y Mindy Lahitte / Central de Proyectos, Buenos Aires.
  • Yamel Najle / Poética Móvil, Puerto Madryn.

Equipo de Documentación:

  • Bruno Juliano / Editor de Contenidos.
  • Ivana Maritano / Fotografía.
  • Judith Le Roux / Fotografía.
  • Silvana Staudinger / Video.
  • Verónica Castro Ferreyra / Video.


  • Ana Sol Alderete.
  • Adrián Carrara (Técnico).


  • Secretaría de Cultura de la Nación Argentina.
  • Subsecretaría de Cultura de la Secretaría de Extensión Universitaria de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Córdoba, Argentina).
  • Universidad Blas Pascal.


Abi Leila Ribot San Martín (Artista, Córdoba); Abril López (Colectivo Las Freedas, Córdoba); Agostina Francese (Cerda Galería, Mendoza); Ana García (Cerda Galería, Mendoza); Andrea Rosana Rugnone (Campo de Cruces, Córdoba); Ángel Pacheco ([3/4] Tres Cuartos, Córdoba); Aurelia Díaz (Archivo Casa 13, Córdoba); Carlos Francisco Bonino (Recitador, Córdoba); Cecilia Hein (Asesora en Legislatura de la Provincia de Córdoba); Cecilia Pezzano (Mano x Mano, Córdoba); Cecilia Tello D’Elia (Cerda Galería, Mendoza); Eva Finquelstein (Galerías Efímeras + Casa 13, Córdoba); Franc Paredes (La Paternal, Buenos Aires); Francisca Ruiz Obligado (Artista, Lago Puelo); Gisella Scotta ([3/4] Tres Cuartos, Córdoba); Gloria Bayger (Artista, Córdoba); Graciela Ovejero Postigo (Peras de Olmo, Tucumán + Buenos Aires); Graciela Sendra (Slade, Córdoba); Guadalupe Juares (La Casa sin Fin, Córdoba) Guadalupe Serra Abrate (Diseñadora gráfica, Córdoba); Gustavo Piñero (Artista, Córdoba); Huenú Peña ([3/4] Tres Cuartos, Córdoba); Ivana Victoria (s/d); Jimena Losada (Cerda Galería, Mendoza); Juan Carlos Ojeda (Mano x Mano, Córdoba); Julia Tamagnini (Casa 13, Córdoba); Julio Ulises Nieto (Docente, Serrezuela); Laura Graciela Blanco (Área de Patrimonio Histórico-Cultural de la Dirección de Cultura de la Municipalidad de Río Tercero, Córdoba); Luciano Burba (Casa 13, Córdoba); Luz Ángela Osorno Valencia (Colectivo Art3, Córdoba); Adelina Coda (Cineasta, Córdoba); Marcelo Hernán Sosa (Taller Arte+Cerámica, Córdoba); María Elisa Bena (s/d); María Eugenia Miranda (Arquitecta, Córdoba); Julia Godoy (Secretaría de Extensión Universitaria Área Artístico Cultural UNCuyo, Mendoza); María Valdés Quintana (Ensamble Cultural, Córdoba); María Virginia Volpe (s/d); Mariano Martino (Colaborador de Fundación Estudio 13, General Roca); Micaela Conti (Artista, Córdoba); Miriam Andrea Tessore (Empleada del Gobierno de Córdoba); Miriam Tolosa (Museo Caraffa, Córdoba); Mónica Herrera (Artista, curadora independiente, investigadora, Tucumán); Natalia Cevnia Figueroa (Diseñadora editorial, Córdoba); Natalia Primo (Campo de Cruces, Córdoba); Natalia Revilla (Artista, Lima + Córdoba); Nicolás Balangero (Un pequeño deseo + Casa 13, Córdoba); Patricia M. Thom (s/d); Joaquín Córdoba Medina (Galería de Arte Contemporáneo 80m2, Lima + Córdoba); Raquel Ferreyra (Campo de Cruces, Córdoba); Rodrigo del Canto (La Ilusión – Productora de Contenidos, Córdoba); Romina Castiñeira (Artista, Córdoba); Rosa Cecconello (Artista, Córdoba); Sebastián Maturano (Casa 13, Córdoba); Silvia Elvira Bonomo (s/d); Silvia Olmos (s/d); Silvia Scampa (s/d); Suyai Otaño (Artista, Buenos Aires); Tatiana Scoones (Cerda Galería, Mendoza).


1.- Tasa de institucionalidad es una noción propuesta por Justo Pastor Mellado que se refiere a la capacidad mínima determinable de las escenas locales de convertir las experiencias en procedimientos de trabajo.


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