Urban Art Contest: The Block of Lights and the Night of the Long Canes

57 years after the Night of the Long Canes, the Secretariat of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture of the Nation will award a single prize of $1,000,000 (one million pesos) for the intervention that will be carried out on seven panels arranged on one of the external walls of the Manzana de las Las Lights. The objective of this contest is to build urban memory through an artistic intervention in a place where the highly significant and violent event that was the Night of the Long Canes took place.

With the purpose of promoting the development of an artistic intervention in the urban space that stimulates reflection on those events and their link with the history and social memory of the Manzana de las Luces Historical Cultural Complex, based on the remembrance of the repression exerted on students and teachers of the University of Buenos Aires in July 1966 and ordered by the de facto government.

This call seeks to give rise to those who are interested in carrying out an intervention that reflects on the importance of participating actively and artistically around the significance of situated memory, in order to publicize the historical fact that the walls of the Apple and transform it into food for thought. Of interest to this contest are proposals capable of situating those who pass through the place and reminding them of the permanent struggle for human rights.

On July 29, 1966, the police broke into the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences, which worked in the Manzana de las Luces. In this way, the dictatorship headed by Juan Carlos Onganía, who dismissed President Arturo Illia, prohibited the autonomy of national universities. The university men and women resisted the measure and suffered the eviction of the cloisters by force. The dean, Rolando García, defended the place expressing: “How dare you commit such an outrage?” In response he was met with batons followed by tear gas, wholesale beatings, blood, broken glass, hundreds of arrests, destruction everywhere. Then came layoffs and resignations on the part of teachers, scientists and scientists, which would jeopardize Argentine scientific development. Some time later, in 1971, the dictators ordered the demolition of the Faculty premises. The bulldozers destroyed the buildings considered “without historical value”. Only some parts of the outer wall managed to survive. Those walls belong to the building that the architect Pedro Coni designed in 1911 for the Aula Magna and the Faculty Library.

The presentation is individual. Those who apply must present a two-dimensional work project that refers (in an evocative, imaginary, conceptual or metaphorical way) to the event of the Night of the Long Canes. The work proposals must be adjusted to the dimensions and shape of the space to be intervened. The space designated to develop the project consists of seven niches or holes located in the exterior wall of the Complex, on Calle Perú, between numbers 222 and 272.

Applications will be received exclusively through the Federal Cultural Registry platform between March 17 and April 17, 2023. In order to apply, interested persons must have an account or create one, for which they must complete the basic information requested by the Federal Register of Culture. Once the account is enabled, they will be able to enter the registry and register for the call by entering the link “Open calls” and selecting there the option “URBAN ART CONTEST: THE APPLE OF LIGHTS AND THE NIGHT OF THE LONG CANES”.

For inquiries about the call, write to [email protected].
For inquiries about the entry and the charge in the Federal Registry of Culture, write to [email protected].