Arts and Migrations in Argentina (1900-1950)

Arts and Migrations in Argentina (1900-1950)

Project by Laura Karp Lugo, Lecturer at the Université de Lorraine and Associate Researcher at the DFK Paris

Positioned at the intersection of exile, artistic practice, and urban space, my research project examines movements and trajectories, neighborhoods and networks, social spaces and spaces of art (artscapes), artistic infrastructures and practices in Buenos Aires in the first half of the 20th century. Analyzing the impact of the mobilities of artists within arrival cities (Saunders 2011) is crucial to grasping the challenges and the opportunities that cities offer to immigrant artists. The project also explores the intensity with which the new environment shapes artistic production. Although the experience of displacement varies in each case, external conditions can bring about adaptabilities and/or traumas common to individuals in situations of exile. In every urban center, spaces foster exchange and the construction of networks, recreating an intellectual world through languages ​​and cultures (Casanova 2008) and giving rise to imaginary communities beyond nations (Anderson 1991). Hotels, cafes, brasseries, clubs, gallery collections, meeting places for organizations, the publication of magazines, journals, and newspapers, artists’ ateliers, training centers, etc. have all been essential spaces for encounters with and the integration of exiled artists. To what extents do the urban environments in which artists evolve and produce affect their professional choices and possibilities as well as their cultural and linguistic exchanges?

In this study of exiled or migrant artists, networks are essential to understanding the mechanisms and strategies of integration and acculturation. Each individual is observed as one piece of a vast puzzle of entangled histories. In every city, in every neighborhood or contact zone, there exists a world of connections that determines most of the artistic trajectories. Examining the nature and intensity of relationships aids in reconstructing a detailed social network. Certain networking strategies are individual, others collective, encompassing many kinds of social relations. This project seeks to reconstitute these interactions in order to explore the ways in which networks were created, developed, and sustained, and to measure their impact on artistic practices in exile. Many routes are possible in studying the historical dynamics involved in social relations: analysis of friend groups (people, places, objects), community associations or societies (memberships), schools (students, teachers), magazines (editors, collaborators, subscribers) are all part of it. All forms of proximity must be taken into account in studying the internal dynamics of migrant and local networks as well as the role of these social constructions in the mechanisms of global mobility.



Dr. Laura Karp Lugo

Université Nancy (september 2018 - november 2022) / postdoc project : Exile and migrant artists in Buenos Aires (1900-1950)