150210: Kunsthalle Wien: Tropicália – The 60’s in Brazil

Kunsthalle Wien: Tropicália – The 60’s in Brazil Defiant Tropics The parrot cages in Hélio Oiticicas installation “Tropicália”, after which the collection of Brazilian art of the 1960’s is named, are arranged according to “species-appropriate husbandry”. A signboard with information about the collection and the co-operation with the “Parrot Protection Work Group” are placed in the middle of the installation consisting among other things of sand, pebbles, cages, and post-minimalistic favela huts by the Brazilian conceptualist. In October 2009, a fire destroyed almost the entire archive of Oiticica’s work. It is therefore a fine idea that the Kunsthalle is also presenting two early constructivist works by the late Oiticicas, who died young in 1980. In 1964, Brazil was already governed by a military dictatorship, long before the Juntas and generals prevailed in most other Latin American countries. Fine arts, literature, film, and Pop became the media of disapproval. And, to the best of their knowledge and belief, they undertook “interventions in ideological circuits”, similar to the inconspicuous writing on Cildo Meirele’s famous Coca Cola bottles. But is there such as thing as a “species appropriate husbandry” for art that evolved from protests by social movements? And, which, as the art historian Sabeth Buchmann stated in her report on conceptualism “Thoughts against Thinking” (Berlin 2007) about Oiticica, aimed at a modernist critical “connection of technology and idleness” against the capitalistic regime and which also claimed to represent pure life in one way or another? It is a structural problem of the artistic field. Lygia Pape’s bowls filled with colourful liquids and arranged in a circle definitely do not aim at initiating a spiritual experience, and the documentation of Artur Barrio’s performances, who filled cloths with bloody meat and displayed them in public spaces, somehow lacks social context and odour. Adorno is correct when he commented that the phonetic similarity between museum and mausoleum is not coincidental. But the curator Thomas Mießgang is not responsible. After all, a few effects referring to the movement of the modernist poet Oswald de Andrade are presented: Rivane Neuenschwander’s “Epilogue” (2006) fits perfectly: in the end, the ants carry the confetti away one by one. By Jens Kastner Kunsthalle Wien 1070 Vienna, Museumsplatz 1, until 02.05.10 http.//www.kunsthallewien.at

Kunsthalle Wien Museumsquartier
1070 Wien, Museumsplatz 1
Tel: +43 1 521 89-0
Email: office@kunsthallewien.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di-So 10-19, Do 11-21 h

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