SourcesFrom all the layers of meaning accrued by the term “autonomy” over the years, the one we find most interesting here is connected with the politics of social counter-powers challenging current structures of governance. In this context, by participating in today’s activist struggles, art shuns the symbolic autonomy that history had conferred upon it, and comes to be renegotiated within the framework of the forms of knowledge generated by emancipatory practices. In accordance with the transformations unleashed by each political period, the social movements arising after the 2008 financial crisis do not understand autonomy simply as resistance and confrontation, but rather in terms of cooperative practices and a politics of the commons capable of offering global and local alternatives to neoliberalism. That political context where the meaning of autonomy is being redefined is, in our view, where collaborative practices in contemporary art properly belong.
Genealogies of practice
- La Rabbia ("Rage") (Italia) Pier Paolo Pasolini & Giovanni Guareschi, 1963
A documentary based on newsreel footage and archive materials depicting the conflicts shaking society in the 1950s and early ‘60s. Popular movements- whether successful or ultimately defeated- reflect the suffering of the working classes. From different standpoints, both directors reveal the period’s most dehumanised side, and the opulence of the wealthy
- Tucumán Arde ("Tucumán Burns") (Argentina) , 1968
“In 1968 Argentina, a group of avant-garde artists from Rosario and Buenos Aires carried out various actions staging a rupture with the art establishment and conventional forms of artistic work. Positing their works as effective contributions to the revolutionary process, these plastic artists redefined the articulation of art and politics as it had been understood until then. In connection with the most militant sector of the local trade union movement, they started a project that exposed the appalling consequences of the economic measures introduced as a result of the application of government policies in the Tucumán province, ravaged by the closure of sugar processing plants” [Excerpt from Ana Longoni & Mariano Mestman, Del Di Tella al Tucumán Arde: Vanguardia artística y política en el 68 argentino, Buenos Aires: Eudeba, 2008 (English trans. of excerpt by José M. Bueso)]