Marta Minujín

Was ‘pop art’ a term used by yourself or colleagues or was there a different terminology that referred to a new figurative art movement in the 1960s and early 1970s?

We called it ‘thing’ (‘chose’ in French). We were creating things that weren’t sculptures, we wanted to break with the established easel painting. Our goal was to attract the public, to do popular art, then it turned into pop art.

Did you ever consider yourself (now or in the past) a pop artist?

Yes, of course. When I made El Batacazo in 1966, I felt that I was a pop artist. Then I was interested in technological art, conceptual art, media art.

Did your work engage with current events in the 1960s and early 1970s?

Yes, La Menesunda was related to the events in Buenos Aires. It was an abstraction of them.

How did you choose the subject matter for your work included in The World Goes Pop?

I wanted to interpret reality and express it my own way.

Where did you get your imagery from (what, if any, sources did you use)?

I used all kinds of media sources: electronics, media, neon. I chose the influence of technology in modern life. I also used everyday objects such as make-up, smells, etc.

Were you aware of pop art in other parts of the world?

At the Di Tella Institute we knew that pop art was becoming big in Brazil, London and in the United States.

Was commercial art an influence on your work or the way in which it was made?

No. I can only think of the invention of Bazooka bubble gum as one of the greatest inventions. Its colour seemed to me the most pop possible!

Was there a feeling at the time that you doing something important and new, making a change…?

Of course. I thought I was the most avant-garde artist in the world.

Was there an audience for the work at the time – and if so what was their reaction to it?

It was a giant success for the public. Audiences of all kinds came to participate and to live the work. People that never consumed art had this first experience. La Menesunda was installed in the Di Tella Institute, an intellectual centre. In spite of this, there was a queue each day eight blocks long.

Looking back at these works, what you do think about them now?

I think they were brilliant and totally avant-garde. La Menesunda was the first work of art where a TV and an undressed couple were presented.

September 2015