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Title:Systems and feedback: Cildo Meireles's "Insertions into Ideological Circuits", 1970-ongoing
Author(s):Jardim De Santa Cruz Oliveira, Teresa Cristina
Director of Research:Small, Irene V.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Small, Irene V.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):O'Brien, David; Vázquez, Oscar E.; Weissman, Terri; Hudson, Suzanne P.
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Cildo Meireles
systems of art
"Insertions into Ideological Circuits"
Abstract:In 1970, Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles began a series of artworks, commonly grouped under the title Insertions into Ideological Circuits, which has since become emblematic of a Latin American art often termed “ideological conceptualism.” This dissertation problematizes the limits of this terminology in shaping the readings of the Insertions into Ideological Circuits by offering detailed analyses of what the Insertions series is, how it operates, where it was first publicly received and what the impact of its exhibition was for different audiences. The main argument of this dissertation is that the Insertions series uses the notion of a system as its medium, and in so doing, seeks to question two interconnected systems: the system of art and the capitalist system. To support this argument, this dissertation draws from preexisting scholarship to offer analysis of the reproducibility and circulation of the projects in the art world as well as to demonstrate how language plays a significant role in the operation of the series as a system in and of itself. To further provide bases for my argument, I have used an investigative methodology that includes interviews with Meireles, the art critic Frederico Morais, as well as other Brazilian art historians. I have also examined archival materials including unpublished correspondences, periodical articles and criticism available at the Museum of Modern Art’s Archives, the International Center for the Arts of the Americas’ Digital Archive at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Meireles’s personal papers. I argue that the notion of circuit, which first appeared in Meireles’s writings and projects between 1970 and 1975, is decisively associated with the notion of system. As a system in operation, the Insertions series engages in, and assimilates feedback from, its first occurrence. This dissertation explores some of the different contexts in which the general schema of Insertions was realized—notably, the exhibitions INFORMATION and Agnus Dei in addition to publications— and addresses some of the feedback and the disputes in the art world regarding the categorization and legitimation of the Insertions series produced in the wake of conceptualism. By offering the first comprehensive study of the Insertions series in its historical specificity, this dissertation paradoxically allows us to understand how the Insertions series continues to operate today as a feedback system within the work of contemporary artists in Brazil.
Issue Date:2014-01-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Teresa Cristina Jardim De Santa Cruz Oliveira
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-01-16
Date Deposited:2013-12

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