Bocanada (Graciela Sacco, 1993-2023): Thirty Years of ‘Interferences’


Graciela Sacco
Conceptual Art
Street Interventions
Political Art
Latin American Art

How to Cite

Garavelli, C. (2023). Bocanada (Graciela Sacco, 1993-2023): Thirty Years of ‘Interferences’. Alternautas, 10(2), 4–32.


The year 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the first street intervention in which the Argentine artist Graciela Sacco used her iconic Bocanada images to signal a state of emergency and challenge the power dynamics at play in the urban space. This first Bocanada ‘interference’ – as the artist used to describe her practice – took place in the Argentine city of Rosario in 1993, when Sacco pasted heliographic posters of her close-ups of wide-open mouths on the exterior walls of a kitchen that prepared meals for the city’s public schools but was under threat of closure. The title of the work has been variously translated into English as ‘mouthful’ and as ‘a breath’; both versions aiming to encapsulate the many meanings of the Spanish noun Bocanada. More literal translations would read the term as a compound noun: a ‘mouth-nothing’; thereby revealing Sacco’s reference, via her somewhat dystopian image, to the neoliberal experiment that submerged Argentina in unemployment and poverty, and precipitated the socio-political, economic and food crisis with which the country began the twenty-first century. This article will explore Sacco’s ‘interferences’, their passage from the streets of various cities around the world to different gallery spaces and museums, and their renewed vitality, thirty years on – and more than five years after the artist’s premature passing.


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Copyright (c) 2023 Clara Garavelli


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