This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.
This week we’ll be talking with the founders of the CIA or El Centro de Investigaciones Artísticas — more casually referred to by those in its immediate periphery as “El Centro”, in Buenos Aires. A literal translation would be the “Center for Artistic Research” but the founders of the southerly Centro — artists Graciela Hasper, Roberto Jacoby, and Judi Werthein — tend to nudge the acronym toward a “center for intelligence in art”.
El Centro is an artist-run space of interaction and debate for artists and thinkers from around the world, with an emphasis on rethinking norms imposed by northern “centers”. The CIA began operations in 2009, but emerged from intensive discussions in 2006 on the need for renewing art education, devising more plausible teaching models and education environments going beyond disciplinary and geographical frontiers were. The CIA’s activities are extradisciplinary, with a strong pedagogical focus on historic research and art theory conducted virtually and physically. The CIA seeks to hone the critical tools needed to challenge the frontiers of genres and disciplines, expanding the borders of practice, genre and media; promoting those that propose new ways of production, of exhibition and exchange; those that explore broader social contexts than the institutional or market-based mainstream.
Though El Centro operates an international residency program, its lectures, seminars, courses and workshops are also very much neighborhood based: neighbors are encouraged to participate, implicitly challenging the artists’ exclusive expert position on art-related questions, thereby ironically decentering the axis of the artworld — socially as well as geo-politically.