31.07.14 - Urgent Action

Urgent Action

This exhibition brings together for the first time a selection of urban actions and performances from the last two decades by South American artists' collectives. The exhibition Acción Urgente(Urgent Action) is the result of exhaustive research by Cecilia Rabossi and Rodrigo Alonso. It explores the actions carried out by interdisciplinary groups of artists from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay during the last 20 years, all of which form part of a phenomenon that became vital to the region's art scene during this period.

The following collectives are included in the exhibition: Escombros, Costuras Urbanas, Etcétera (Internacional Errorista), Viva Laura Pérez, Mujeres Públicas e Iconoclasistas (Argentina); Mujeres Creando (Bolivia); Frente 3 de Fevereiro, Opavivará, and Contrafilé (Brazil); Cuadernos de Movilización (Chile); Javier López & Erika Meza (Paraguay); Colectivo Sociedad Civil and La Perrera (Peru); and Clemente Padín and Grupo Mujeres Artistas en Movimiento (MAM) (Uruguay).

In response to the surrounding political, social, and economic realities, these groups have deployed artistic practices geared to making an array of issues visible. The works in the exhibition evidence the originality, spontaneity, and range of aesthetic resources used in actions that engage the public space of the city as setting. Such actions include the satirical and provocative laughter of Grupo Etcétera as, in the nineties, it staged public denouncements of those involved in perpetrating repression during the last military dictatorship in Argentina; the reinvention of graffiti by the Mujeres Creando collective in Bolivia; and the original proposals of Frente 3 de Fevereiro in Brazil to condemn racism. Together, these and other outstanding proposals formulate the dialogue that runs through the exhibition.

"The works of these groups respond to immediate socio-political contexts and challenge naturalized conducts with proposals that address—among other things—gender issues, racial discrimination, indigenismo, political inequality, and alienation. They question the art institution as well as certain social structures but, unlike activist groups, their critical moment lies in poetic actions," state the curators.

The artists' collectives included in this exhibition challenge individual creation for the sake of highly political collective authorship. They operate at the margins of institutions and use the mass media to circulate, produce, and communicate their actions. As such, these collectives formulate new modes of aesthetic and political experimentation in the public space. 

The actions and performances in Acción Urgente provide an overview of extremely contemporary forms of expression that, nonetheless, form part of a rich tradition in Latin American art that engages the urban environment to critically confront reality.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Ternium and Tenaris divisions of the Techint Organization. It is the most recent in a series of exhibitions at Proa that reflect on the relationship between contemporary art and the city. Past exhibitions in this series include City Editings (1999), curated by Catherine David; Espacios Urbanos (2009), a photographic overview of international cities; and Buenos Aires (2013), a sharp reflection on the Argentine capital.

Acción Urgente seminar: In the framework of the exhibition, on Tuesday, July 8 the Acción Urgente seminar will be held. The event is a day-long workshop that, on the basis of the groups and collectives featured in the exhibition, attempts to map the various forms and strategies of intervention that engage the city as setting. The workshop, which will be held at Proa, provides an opportunity to learn about the history of each of the participating groups and its actions, and to dialogue with its protagonists.

Grupos participantes

ARGENTINA Grupo Escombros / Grupo Costuras Urbanas / Internacional Errorista (ex Grupo Etcétera) / Colectivo Viva Laura Pérez / Colectivo Mujeres Públicas / Colectivo Iconoclasistas

BOLIVIA Mujeres Creando

BRASIL Frente 3 de Fevereiro / Opavivara / Contra File

CHILE Cuadernos de Movilización

PARAGUAY Javier López & Erika Meza

PERÚ Colectivo Sociedad Civil / La Perrera            

URUGUAY Clemente Padín / Grupo MAM




Inauguración 5 de julio de 2014 – 17 hs


Curaduría Cecilia Rabossi – Rodrigo Alonso. Asistente: Emmanuel Muleiro


Organización Fundación Proa


Auspicia Ternium / Tenaris – Organización Techint


Diseño expositivo Fundación Proa – Departamento de Montaje


Diseño gráfico Mario Gemín – Fundación Proa – Departamento de Diseño

Montaje  Pablo Zaefferer - Soledad Oliva


Educación Paulina Guarnieri/ Rosario García Martínez /Camila Villarruel. Educadores: Laia Ros Comerma/ Noemí Aira/ Juan Carlos Urrutia/Agostina Gabanetta / Cora Papic


Tenaris - Organización Techint