Contemporary Argentine Art and Ecological Crises
This dissertation explores contemporary Argentine art that has responded to local environmental issues and global ecological crises. This text focuses on diverse works produced between the 1960s and the present by artists based in La Plata and Buenos Aires. The projects analyzed in this study reveal the complexity of the concepts of nature, earth, land, environment and ecological crisis in contemporary society. They expose a series of interrelated issues and layers through which these concepts are defined. In order to designate the major approaches to ecological crises adopted by these artists, this study is divided into three sections, which denote distinct artistic methods and values: raising awareness: fighting against urban degradation; recuperation; and exploration. An analysis of individual works in relation to their central methods and contexts reveals a series of convergences and divergences. I argue that my selection of artists’ works contended with the conflict caused by industrial development and neoliberal economic policies and/or reconsidered the concept of nature and individuals’ relationship to it, shifting the dialogue about the environment to questions of place, engagement and adaptability. Collectively these artists’ works present a multifaceted image of the environment and its relationship to people, which is shaped by both the nuances of a particular location and each site’s or artist’s connection to a broader international context.