This article maps the complex socio-political terrain negotiated by the Centro de Arte y Comunicación (CAYC) during the early 1970s from Buenos Aires. It shows how the CAYC attempted to continue the internationalising aims which the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella had pursued in the 1960s, while also providing a space for the exhibition and development of Conceptualism that engaged with political conditions in Argentina and in other countries including Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Columbia, developing the framework of “systems art” in order to do so. The compromises necessitated by CAYC's balancing act opened the organisation, and in particular its director Jorge Glusberg, to accusations of cultural imperialism and complicity: from almost the very beginning, the CAYC project was characterised by dissensus and disagreement. The controversy generated by CAYC – documented in archives, publications and exhibition catalogues – now offers a rich historiographical resource for Latin American art, revealing how competing models of internationalism and Conceptualism were closely intertwined rather than diametrically opposed.

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