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Roberto Valcárcel: Renaming Repression and Rehearsing Liberation in Contemporary Bolivian Art

Paz Moscoso, Valeria (2016) Roberto Valcárcel: Renaming Repression and Rehearsing Liberation in Contemporary Bolivian Art. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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This study analyses the invisible forms of repression in the Bolivian art system by interpreting Roberto Valcárcel’s artwork in the light of Herbert Marcuse’s ideas on repression and liberation as expounded in Eros and Civilization. It considers, on the one hand, Valcárcel’s artwork in relation to the liberating role that Marcuse attributes to art (via phantasy, polymorphous eroticism, and Orphic paradigm). On the other hand, it explores the strategies devised by Valcárcel against repression, such as self-promotion, multiple texts, play, humour and unmasking certain repressive truths. The reading of Valcárcel’s work via Marcuse is supported by archival research from contemporary newspapers, exhibition documentation and Bolivian art history, which provide relevant information about the sorts of latent repression to which Valcárcel’s artworks responds. The dissertation is organised in five chapters in which examples of repressive beliefs are unveiled. Chapter One examines El Movimiento Erótico (The Erotic Movement, 1983) and the manifold strategies used by Valcárcel to escape the traps of a presumed type of sexual liberation (sexist and genital oriented) and capitalism’s culture industry. Chapter Two discusses artworks where the intentional construction of open meaning challenges the norm of a univocal creation and consumption of art. Chapter Three studies some of Valcárcel’s humorous identities in contrast with the dramatic, and overly serious self-perception of Bolivians artists. Chapter Four explores Valcárcel’s use of play, black humour and deceit as effective devices to escape hidden authoritarianism in society during dictatorial regimes. Chapter Five analyses how Valcárcel’s work unveils the latent repression in the idealisation of indigenous heritage through play and anti-thesis. The dissertation introduces a new topic into the study of art in Bolivia – veiled repression – at the same time that it sheds light on the potential of the artwork of Roberto Valcárcel to open new ways of historicizing and thinking about art in Bolivia.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Roberto Valcárcel. Contemporary Art. Bolivian Art. Latin American Art. Herbert Marcuse. Sigmund Freud. Authoritarianism. Frankfurt School. Art and Psychoanalysis. Art and Politics.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
Depositing User: Valeria Paz Moscoso
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2016 10:40
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 10:40

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