The Argentine thinker Rodolfo Kusch is recovered in the book “Aesthetic Classes”, by researcher Ignacio Soneira, from his work as a teacher of aesthetics and cultural history at Prilidiano Pueyrredón between 1963 and 1973.
“Rodolfo Kusch. Aesthetic classes”, published by the publishing house Las forties, portrays the passage of the philosopher, an Americanist, through the classrooms of the School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires at a time of great political and cultural effervescence. The book helps to understand the work of Rodolfo Kusch, his positions, actions and conception of education, and is also a way of thinking about his validity, 30 years after his death.
His legacy has been promoted more intensely since 2012 with a series of academic conferences and publications that rescue the American positioning from the perspective of the philosopher and teacher.
The starting point of the book is an investigation carried out by the also doctor in philosophy Ignacio Soneira, who on his trip to Maimará in 2012 and in dialogue with Kusch’s last partner, Elizabeth Lanata – to whom he dedicates the book – discovers a Kusch teacher of Aesthetics and Cultural History at the Prilidiano Pueyrredón School in Buenos Aires, and later at the National University of Salta.
In the book, Soneira compiled notes, transcripts of classes from 1969, course programs taught by Kusch with his bibliography, and testimonies from former students from the 60s and 70s whom he interviewed. All this allowed him to put together a puzzle.
“Recovering what happened in Kusch’s classes consists of archaeological work,” writes the researcher. He also publishes an unpublished essay by Kusch, “Bases for an Authentic American Art”, which served as study material and was found in the essayist’s archive.
It is the interviews where that human and pedagogical side emerges that allows us to delve into Kusch’s thinking and the laborious work of installing what is American as experience, experience and study, contrary to the traditional Western Europeanized positioning of teaching.
“I found something unexpected,” Soneira related about these testimonies, “Kusch had generated devotion and almost as a gesture of conversion in his students,” because “they all had incredible memories of those classes and noted that from the encounter with Kusch “They had totally changed his way of seeing art and influenced his artistic projects.”
Philosopher, anthropologist and playwright, Günter Rodolfo Kusch (Buenos Aires, 1922 – Maimará, Jujuy, 1979) had graduated with a degree in philosophy in 1948 from the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the UBA, and is considered one of the founders of the Philosophy of Liberation and an anticipator of the intercultural current of philosophy and contemporary social sciences, based on his research and essays on popular culture.
He is the author of “Deep America” (1962), “Indians, Buenos Aires and Gods (1966), “De la mal vida porteña” (1966), “Indigenous and popular thought in America” (1971), among other texts.
He was also the author and director of the works “Tango”, “Credo rante” and “La muerte del Chacho”, and his last contribution was “Cafetín” (1965); creator of the “puchometrajes”: photonovelas projected live with photographs intervened by the author with music and sound recordings, to which he superimposed a story read as a performative act. He was an intellectual who thought about reality not only from philosophy, and from there he transmitted and shared knowledge.