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Guiraldes image

Ricardo Güiraldes, ‘Síntesis de la primera conferencia de Marinetti en el Coliseo de Buenos Aires’

In 1926, the editors of the Argentine avant-garde magazine Valoraciones came up with a singular idea: their next number, entitled ‘Primer Salón de Escritores’, would feature drawings by some of the prestigious writers in Buenos Aires. Among the magazine’s pages we find drawings and sketches by writers of the calibre of Oliverio Girondo, Jorge Luis Borges, Eduardo Mallea, Leopoldo Marechal and Ricardo Güiraldes. The diversity of the themes is fascinating: Girondo decided to paint an ice-cream salesman, Borges a compadrito, Mallea a literary scandal, and Marechal a jazz band. It is the drawing by Ricardo Güiraldes, however, that stands out. In a sketch entitled ‘Síntesis de la primera conferencia de Marinetti en el Coliseo de Buenos Aires’, Güiraldes depicts the 1926 visit to the city of the Italian poet and founder of futurism Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. The image provides a clear example of the ways in which science, technology and culture were entwined in the avant-garde period. At the center of the image we find a robot. Around him, a constellation of images, words and thoughts condense the main tenets of the futurist movement. Words like invention, synthesis, intuition, simultaneity, audacity and intuition coexist with images of the great technological discoveries of the era, like the automobile, the airplane and the locomotive. A series of noises and sounds surround the robot in a clear attempt to mimick the chaotic environment of the modern city. At the bottom of the image, the crowd is depicted in a manner that draws attention to the spectacle and is reminiscent of another of the great modern inventions: cinema.

Text: Carlos Fonseca

Ricardo Güiraldes
‘Síntesis de la primera conferencia de Marinetti en el Coliseo de Buenos Aires’
In ‘Primer Salón de Escritores’, Valoraciones. Revista Bimestral de Humanidades, Crítica y Polémica, [La Plata], no. 10 (August 1926)