Hélio Oiticica. museu é o mundo

Hélio Oiticica. museu é o mundo
Temporary exhibition
21/09/2012
- 06/01/2013
Floor: 
0
Curator: 
Fernando Cocchiarale
César Oiticica Filho
Hélio Oiticica. museu é o mundo
Temporary exhibition
21/09/2012
- 06/01/2013
Floor: 
0
Curator: 
Fernando Cocchiarale
César Oiticica Filho
Body: 

Few artists reflected on their own work with such clarity and acuity as Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980). All issues that emerged throughout his experimental process, which started in the brink of the dissolution of Grupo Frente (a Concretist nucleus in Rio de Janeiro), in 1958, are documented in notes, texts, interviews, testimonies and letters. In an interview granted Jornal do Brasil in May 1961, he states: 'I think the artist’s own testimony about his experience is extremely important. The tendency is the artist becoming increasingly aware of his work. It’s easier to penetrate into an artist’s thought when he leaves a verbal account of his creative process. I always fell compelled to make notes about all essential points of my work'.

In the specific case of Oiticica, we can affirm that work and testimony are intercrossed in such a degree that it’s impossible to separate them without generating a loss for both, for they are essential for his qualification as a seminal artist of Brazilian vanguard of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Oiticica’s poetical trajectory moves from the impeccable and almost aseptic works of his initial phase, strongly influenced by international 'Constructivism', to a kind of 'slum Constructivism'. Such approach to Brazil through the wide-ranging via of 'Concrete' and 'Neoconcrete' formal inventions takes shape when the sculptor Jackson Ribeiro takes him to Mangueira Hill, in Rio de Janeiro. 'It all started with the formulation of the Parangolé, in 1964, with the whole of my experience with samba, the discoveries of the hills, of the organic architecture of Rio de Janeiro’s slums (and, consequently, others, such as the stilt villages of the Amazon) and especially of the spontaneous and anonymous constructions in the large urban centers – street art, unfinished things, barren areas, etc.. Parangolé was the beginning, the seed, even if still within the field of universalizing ideas (the return to myth, sensorial incorporation, etc.) of New Objectivity’s and Tropicália’s conceptualization.'
Therefore Hélio arrives at Tropicália through a process that begins with the conventional 'canvas' of Western painting, but that progressively deconstructs toward a Brazilian experience. Such transformation doesn’t occur, however, in a representational or illustrative scope. It doesn’t mean a change of subject, but a political transformation based on the participation of the “spectator”.

Hélio Oiticica’s oppositional strategy in face of bourgeois art and society, however, is not filed under the libertarian-messianic tradition of Marxist nature largely in vogue in Latin America at that time, but it’s an anarco-romantic opposition within a libertine tradition focused on the individual’s behavioral revolution. Perhaps this has kept his work at bay from the illustrative social thematic in which many leftist artists sank.

Hélio Oiticica. museum is the world transcends the exhibition borders of the Museu Coleção Berardo. With works spread through the public outdoor spaces, the exhibition puts the public in direct contact the idea of 'Ambulatory Delirium', a form employed by Hélio to awaken in himself a state of latent creation. His greatest aspiration from the Penetrables (which start with Projeto 'Cães de Caça' and continue through the end of his production) is having them as open and cosmic spaces, where the individual could create his own sensations without visual or historical conditionings, that is, that he/she could find inside himself/herself the key for a 'Experimental Exercise of Freedom', as proposed by Mário Pedrosa.

Fernando Cocchiarale e César Oiticica Filho
Curators