Between October 23 and 27, 2018 we held a face-to-face meeting to commemorate the 10 years of RedCSur (Network of Southern Conceptualisms) since its creation: when in 2007 Ana Longoni, Miguel López, Fernando Davis, Graciela Carnavale and Emilio Tarazona met at the seminar “Vivid Radical Memory. Radical Conceptual Art revisited. A social and political perspective from the East and the South”, organized by Antoni Mercader at the MACBA museum in Barcelona. At that time these researchers shared the concern and need to intervene politically in the steps of neutralization of a series of political-artistic practices that took place in the 1960s in Latin America.
Since then we have gone through a series of processes where we have seen the increase, not only of new members (which are almost forty in several parts of the world), but also of the significance of our activity in art, relations with institutions and political actions, that have been developed through manifestos, public interventions, exhibitions, seminars and publications. In addition to the continuous work in the conformation and activation of archives in order to preserve and socialize them under various modes of use: within the institutions, through research and online consultation.
Our ways of doing do not cease to be free of doubts and mysteries for other people’s eyes. It is not evident that this network has come to raise a single collective voice, which as a living organism moves collectively – not without contradictions and internal disagreements – motivated by the same eagerness: the one that was the trigger of its foundation.
As independent cells, the division into work nodes and transversal projects that take agreements in virtual meetings (mainly through chats), the network has also carried out a series of face-to-face meetings where collective modes of operation have been discussed. Two meetings were held in 2008, shortly after the RedCSur was formed. The first one called “Conceitualismos du Sul / Sur” (Conceptualisms of the South) organized in the MAC USP, San Pablo, Brazil and the second in Rosario on the 40th anniversary of “Tucuman arde” (Tucuman burns). These first meetings were instances of discussion and the beginning of the elaboration of a common grammar. There was a third meeting in Chile in 2009 called “Memorias y Archivos: categorías modernizadoras, repercusiones y disidencias posibles en los ‘Conceptualismos del Sur'” (Memories and Archives: modernizing categories, repercussions and possible dissidences in the ‘Conceptualisms of the South’). Since then and after a wealth of work where numerous archives were socialized, collective exhibitions and publications were held, we organized a fourth meeting called “Insubordinate knowledge, ecologies of action, emerging futures”. Which proposed, as a starting point, to stop, question and explore paths travelled, ways of doing and acting that have been delineated throughout these 10 years. A repositioning of the network arises in this meeting, under a new historical-political framework to face with the learnings of our history, to build other insubordinate knowledge, strengthen ecologies of common action and outline other futures within those emerging.
In this meeting we met 35 members who, in many cases, we saw for the first time after having worked together innumerable times. The bonds generated among us, allowed us to mobilize discussions with more force and update certain parameters that could not be discussed with this intensity and no composure. Activating and opening, the following topics were put into debate: the instituting declaration, the most important landmark in our history, the revision of our ways of doing and the reflection of certain axes of political discussion such as racism, neoconservatism, feminist perspectives and generic sex dissidences, neoextractivism, postcolonialism and the politics of memory, which positions us in a critical present where we do not want to stop thinking about action and research as a political agent. Even more so when the meeting took place under the atmosphere of the days before the second round of the presidential elections in Brazil, where Bolsonaro was elected.
Along with the atmosphere of the debates, we had the opportunity to get together to silkscreen, to go out to the street for a massive street poster sticker, after a meeting on the exhibition project “El Giro Gráfico” (The Graphic Turn) and to join the protest of “picos rojos” (red beaks) in Nicaragua. Thus, the meeting developed as a laboratory of political thought around internal and external ecologies of action that was projected in a collective commitment to resist the present and imagine other futures to build together.