Today’s snow, ice, and cold brought to mind similar weather in January of 1984 – 30 years ago when artists in New York began a series of political actions and protests to call attention to the ways in which the U.S. Government intervened in internal governing affairs and propped up oppressive military dictatorships in Central and South America.
It was not my first experience of artists organizing and using alternative means to communicate to the public, their issues and concerns – but this time many of the artists included did not make overtly political work and the range of participants included visual and performance artists, poets, filmmakers, curators, art critics and writers. Many collaborated to make work specifically for the events.
One of those activities, “La Verdadera Avenida de las Americas” took place on one of the coldest days of the month on the block where I lived at West Broadway between Houston and Prince.
These are some of the photographs that I took.
The Artists Call poster, designed by Claes Oldenburg, listed 1,087 participants: individual visual artists and collaborative teams, performance artists, poets, filmmakers, curators, art critics and writers;
and 80 events including 29 exhibitions, 20 film showings, 7 dance and performance festivals, 6 poetry brigades, 6 video and TV installations, 6 reading series, 2 street actions, 2 window installations, and 2 panel discussions.
Additional information about Artists Call Against Intervention in Central America may be found in the PAD/D (Political Art Documentation/Distribution) archive at the Museum of Modern Art:
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