By Sabeth Buchmann, Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz

Hélio Oiticica (1937–1980) occupies a primary place within the Latin American avant-garde of the postwar period. linked to the Rio de Janeiro-based neo-concretist stream first and foremost of his occupation, Oiticica moved from item creation to the production of chromatically opulent and sensually engulfing large-scale installations or wearable clothing. construction at the thought for a movie through Brazilian underground filmmaker Neville D’Almeida, Oiticica constructed the idea that for Block-Experiments in Cosmococa—Program in development (1973–1974) as an “open program”: a sequence of 9 proposals for environments, each one along with slide projections, soundtracks, rest amenities, drawings (with cocaine used as pigment), and directions for viewers. it's the epitome of what the artist known as his “quasi-cinema” work—his such a lot debatable construction, and maybe his such a lot direct attempt to merge artwork and existence. provided publicly for the 1st time in 1992, those works were incorporated in significant foreign exhibitions in l. a., Chicago, London, and New York.

Drawing on unpublished basic assets, letters, and writings by means of Oiticica himself, this illustrated exam of Oiticica’s paintings considers the titanic catalog of theoretical references the artist’s paintings is dependent upon, from anticolonial materialism to French phenomenology and postmodern media idea to the paintings of Jean-Luc Godard, Andy Warhol, and Brazilian avant-garde filmmakers. It discusses Oiticica’s paintings in terms of the diaspora of Brazilian intellectuals throughout the army dictatorship, the politics of media circulate, the commercialization of recent York’s queer underground, the specific use of cocaine as technique of construction, and attainable destiny reappraisals of Oiticica’s paintings.

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Additional info for Hélio Oiticica and Neville D'Almeida: Block-Experiments in Cosmococa: Program in Progres (One Work Series)

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Everyone is called upon to ensure that the slide projections operate while ‘any Hendrix’ record is played — they take the creative organisation of the situation into their own hands. The principle of ‘private performances’ applies in this instance not so much to individual relations between work and viewer as to intersubjective and physical encounters: we may take the emphasis placed on ‘otherness’ to be also an erotically charged evocation of incalculable ‘other’ experiences. Moreover, this form of improvisation is ultimately designed to foster the performance of the individual, to be intensified by collective action.

This mixture shows that Oiticica did not see social and political opposition as grounded in contrasts — ‘straight’ and ‘queer’, ‘north’ and ‘south’, or ‘democracy’ and ‘dictatorship’. 71 In the late 1960s, Oiticica’s home in Rio de Janeiro’s Jardim Botânico had already served as a downright clandestine meeting point where (middle-class) bohemians mingled with people from Mangueira. Friends and acquaintances stayed overnight, and some moved in for extended periods of time or even indefinitely. Among Oiticica’s temporary tenants in 1968 and 1969 were key figures of the Tropicália movement,72 such as Waly Salomão — Oiticica helped him edit Me segura qu’eu vou dar um troço (Hold Me Because I’m Going to Have a Fit, 1972), his first volume of poetry, during that time73 — and Rogério Duarte.

44 As we will go on to discuss later, cocaine, used in the Cosmococas both as medium and reference, is by no means replaceable by other psychoactive or illicit substances. Specific media may represent distinct instruments of mediation, but they are always Block-Experiments in Cosmococa — program in progress | 19 and most of all embedded in subject-object relations and inscribed in broader societal structures. Despite the fact that Block-Experiments in Cosmococa is an open programme in progress, it is fair to say that each of its parts (‘blocks’) integrates interrelated artistic and ethical, social and political, physical and mental, metabolic and pharmacological components that do point towards a process-based whole.

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