Deflagractions. Oscar Masotta: Avant-garde and Psychoanalysis Seminar
The incombustible activity of Oscar Masotta (1930–1979) was structured around the desire to trasmit, either through action, words, or psychoanalytic theory and practice. Examples of this are his happenings from the mid-sixties, such as Para inducir el espíritu de la imagen (To induce the spirit of the image, 1966) or El helicóptero (The helicopter, 1967); his critical writings on the avant-garde of that period, with key books such as El Pop-art (1967) and Happenings (1967), the latter bringing together several theoretical voices; the creation of study groups to read the texts of Jacques Lacan; the discovery of the comic as an artistic form, which led to the First World Comics Biennial in 1968; and the publication of La historieta en el mundo moderno (The comic strip in the modern world, 1970)
In this seminar we propose a dialogue between different generations: from those who knew him, friends and students, to artists who have reappraised his work from today’s perspective. First in Buenos Aires and then in exile in post-Franco Barcelona, the Argentinean became a near-covert reference for several generations of artists, psychoanalysts and intellectuals from other disciplines such as literature and philosophy. Masotta’s way of transmitting could be seen as a deflagration that left its mark, and which changed or uncovered the careers of many of his collaborators and friends: from the Arte de los Medios group (including Roberto Jacoby, Raúl Escari and Eduardo Costa) to the work around the comic with like-minded individuals such as the semiologist Oscar Steimberg, and the lectures given to young university students who would later become Lacanian psychoanalysts.
Coordinated by Cloe Masotta. With the participation of Enric Berenguer, Nora Catelli, Rithée Cevasco, Dora García, Ana Longoni and Martín Vitaliti.
Clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. President of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis (AMP) and lecturer at the Instituto del Campo Freudiano in Spain. He has translated Lacan’s Seminars IV, V, VIII, X, XVII. He is the author of ¿Cómo se construye un caso? (Barcelona: NED editions, 2018), editor of the collection ‘La palabra eXtrema’ for NED editions and has published articles in La Vanguardia, El País, Freudiana and La Cause du désir.
Emeritus Professor of Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature at the Universitat de Barcelona and literary critic.
Psychoanalyst and sociologist, working in Paris and Barcelona. Researcher for the CNRS (France) until 2006. AME of the School of Psychoanalysis of the Forums of the Lacanian Field (EPFCL). Founding member of the Psychoanalysis & Society Research Centre. Author of: La discordancia de los sexos (S&P) and a regular contributor to collective publications on psychoanalytic and clinical theory: Analizando el cuerpo (S&P); Ser-para-el-sexo (S&P), and Pliegues magazine (FFCLE-F9).
An artist., her research focuses on the parameters and conventions of the presentation of art, questions of time – real and fictional – and the limits between representation and reality. Using different supports, she generates contexts in which the traditional scheme of communication – transmitter-message-receptor – is altered, thus modifying the traditional relationship between artist, work and public.
Writer, researcher for CONICET and degree and postgraduate lecturer at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Her field of study includes the crossovers between art and politics in Argentina and Latin America from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Author of numerous publications, her latest book is Vanguardia y revolución (Buenos Aires: Ariel, 2014). She has promoted Southern Conceptualisms Network since its foundation in 2007, and is the curator of the exhibition Oscar Masotta. Theory as Action. She is currently Director of Public Activities at the Museo Reina Sofía.
A visual artist, his work is based on an investigation of the language of comics. From the analysis of their own internal logic and the elements that compose it, formulations can be drawn corresponding to the world of the ‘real’ and, therefore, to any hypothesis of speculative thought. His publications include Líneas cinéticas, Didascalias and Fondos (Save As... Publications), a trilogy on the constituent elements of the language of comics; 360º (Serie AL/Buchhandlung Walther König); and Sin coordenadas (Tren en Movimiento). He has exhibited in different institutions and galleries both nationally and internationally, and has work in public and private collections.
THURSDAY 7 JUNE 2018, 5 pm
Venue: Auditori Meier. Access for people with reduced mobility through the Meier building (museum reception)
5 pm Introduction by Cloe Masotta, teacher and film critic, and Pablo Martínez, MACBA’s Head of Programming.
5.15 pm Ana Longoni. Curator of the exhibition Oscar Masotta. Theory as Action
Memory’s Hiding Place
The unexpected and simultaneous discovery of two photographs that hold a key to understanding the development of the Argentine avant-garde in the sixties, images that until a few months ago we didn’t know existed (Ricardo Carreira's Mancha de sangre [Blood Stain, 1966] and Eduardo Ruano’s atentado [Attack] from the Ver y Estimar award in 1968), forces us to think about the clandestine hiding places that are yet to be discovered. Images lost (and at the same time stored) in the intimate space, waiting for the historical and affective conditions of legibility that would activate their irruption.
6.15 pm Enric Berenguer. Clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst.
What Masotta knew about knowledge
In a text entitled ‘Masotta: su agalma’ (Masotta: his agalma), which was published in the book Masotta, el revés de la trama (ed. Marcelo Izaguirre: Atuel, 1999), I wrote of Masotta's mode of transmission and what, in my view, were the reasons behind the decisive effect of his study groups on the Barcelona intellectual scene and, more particularly, on the introduction of Lacanian psychoanalysis in Spain.
Besides pointing out the historical circumstances of his arrival in Spain, I referred to his individual way of questioning the text, and to the way in which, in his reading, he showed what was missing, deliberately or unknowingly silenced. But, beyond this, his testimony in ‘Roberto Arlt, yo mismo’, along with other indications disseminated in his works, may help us find the key to his enunciation, a style that – not only because of its irony – reveals a certain attitude to knowledge and truth.
Some of this manifests itself strongly in moments of transition: from consciousness to structure, from philosophy to psychoanalysis, from literary writing to another type of writing, inseparable from a way of speaking.
Today, this way of conceiving and enacting transmission is an example to be reclaimed, when all true questioning tends to be blocked by the systematic recourse to a superficial scientism of the ‘evidence’.
7.15 pm Break
7.30 pm Art and psychoanalysis. Round table discussion
With the participation of Nora Catelli, Rithée Cevasco, Dora García and Martín Vitaliti.
Chaired by Enric Berenguer.