Displacing Meanings: Hidden Signs of Aesthetics in the Chilean Context

Miguel Zamorano Sanhueza


The aim of this work is to reflect how Chilean visual arts worked in the context of dictatorship, which started with the coup of 1973. During this period, repressive politics censored most of the country’s cultural and artistic manifestations. Several Chilean artists established the group C.A.D.A. (Collective Art Actions), the artworks of which established a renewal of the artistic scenario through forsaking the tradition, in terms of how to conceive the relation between artists and audience, how artistic institutions legitimate the artistic work and how material strategies of creation modified the conception of visual arts at that moment. Due to the repressive scenario, visual artistic production adhered to an overlap of meanings. Hiding connotations, through rewriting the signs that made up its own practices, was a strategy to survive the effects of the coup. This included the replacement of conventional materiality, the questioning of artistic institutions and a new transdisciplinary concept of visual arts production. From this temporal reference, this work describes how aesthetics can be thought of as an emancipatory knowledge. Its presence derives from formal institutional and discursive prescriptions to marginalized narratives that emerged and became visible during a troublesome period.


Article received: December 22, 2019; Article accepted: January 31, 2020; Published online: April 15, 2020; Review article

How to cite the article: Zamorano Sanhueza, Miguel. "Displacing Meanings: Hidden Signs of Aesthetics in the Chilean Context." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 21 (2020): 101-108. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i21.361



Chilean visual arts context; aesthetical status; art under censorship; bodiness and representation; avant-garde in Chile.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i21.361


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