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Chile – Course delves into the origins of contemporary art

A course entitled “Le radici dell’arte contemporanea: avanguardie storiche d’Europa e d’America Latina. Dialoghi, accordi e disaccordi” (“Roots of contemporary art: Historical avant-garde movements in Europe and Latin America. Dialogues, agreements and disagreements”) will be held from August 3 to October 19 in Santiago de Chile’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) in connection with the exhibition “Futurismo. Primera Vanguardia”. The initiative was organised by the Italian Cultural Institute (IIC) in collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Studies (IDEA) of the University of Santiago, the MAC, the Goethe Institut, and the Institut Francais. The course is based on the view that contemporary art and culture cannot be separated from their roots set deep in the historical avant-garde movements upon which other movements were subsequently developed. These different movements, which succeeded in creating new languages, share similarities in various parts of the world because they have wedded sensitivity with the desire for freedom which stemmed from their abhorrence and refusal of what they had to live on. The course utilises an interdisciplinary approach to analyse the avant-garde movements in the early 1800s both in Europe and in Latin America, exploring and discussing the major movements, their socio-political context, ideologies and approaches, and probing into the exchange of ideas, agreements and disagreements between European and Latin American avant-garde movements. These movements represent a watershed in the world of art, marking a “before and after”. The course will therefore focus on the major themes that drove them: criticism of mass society; creativity and collective beliefs and customs; realism, revolutions, the new Man; decadent and proletarian art; and socialist and critical realism. The course will also discuss the (mis)encounter between European and Latin American avant-garde movements, with a special focus on their (dis)agreements and on how they mixed the elements respectively drawn from each other.

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