Contacta: Participatory Art, Politics and Social Change

This dissertation investigates the emergence of relational and “non-objectual”* arts practices in Peru during Juan Velasco Alvarado’s Gobierno Revolucionario de las Fuerzas Armadas (Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces, 1968-1980), the only leftist-oriented military administration in South America at that time. The research will focus on the interplay between art and politics. For instance, how the government hired artists to promote its agenda, but also how these artistic practices (some of them supported by the government) fostered art in the public space, the democratisation of culture and social change. The case study will be about the total art festival Contacta held in 1971, 1972 and 1979. This survey connects the emergence of Peruvian non-objectual art with other Latin American artistic practices of that time, in order to articulate a Latin American perspective, apart from U.S.-European conceptualism.
* “Non-objectual” is the way Peruvian art critic Juan Acha refered to ephemeral and immaterial art practices in Latin America. Broadly, the term defines conceptualist art practices in Latin America, in order to differentiate them from mainstream U.S.-European conceptualism.

Katerina Valdivia Bruch is an independent curator and arts writer based in Berlin. Besides her work as a curator, she contributes essays, interviews and articles to art publications and magazines.
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Dorothee Richter, Prof. Susanne Clausen