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In the middle of 1968—a critical year in the 20th century—Lygia Clark wrote this brief essay on the position that the artist should pursue in society; in the wake of the student protests that began in Paris in May of that year, demands for change in the sociopolitical as well as the personal spheres were issued around the globe. In her text, Clark, who was forty-eight at the time, states that if she were “younger” she would work in politics. As an artist, she confesses to feeling a bit complacent and “overly adjusted” to a place in the social structure that did not exist before since, in her view, “artists used to be marginalized.” She mentions the killing of a young man in Brazil at the hands of police during the repressive military dictatorship that would be in power for over two decades (1964?85). Clark believes that, while the attitude of that generation of students was “existentially like our attitude as artists,” there was one major difference: the repressive police force was mobilized to kill “incendiary” and “forward-looking” young people attempting to “push the world” ahead. Clark questions what she considers the “domestication” of the art milieu.
Pequeno escrito da artista Lygia Clark sobre a postura e a posição do artista na sociedade, em 1968, ano em que se espalham manifestações estudantis pela Europa e outras partes do mundo, com reivindicações de mudanças político-sociais e comportamentais. Clark declara neste texto que, se fosse "mais jovem", faria política. Como artista, diz sentir-se pouco à vontade e "muito integrada", com um "lugar" na estrutura social que não existia: "Antes os artistas eram marginalizados". A autora menciona o assassinato de um jovem no Brasil pela polícia repressora da ditadura militar (1964-1968) e considera aquela geração de estudantes com a mesma "atitude existencial que nós", artistas. A diferença é que a sociedade passara a matar os jovens "precursores" e "incendiários". Enquanto estes "empurram o mundo", Clark se pergunta sobre certa "domesticação" dos artistas.
The book Lygia Clark from the “Arte Brasileira Contemporânea” collection published by the Fundação Nacional de Artes (FUNARTE) from 1978 to 1983 includes this brief text by the artist. The volume on Clark documents her production from what are called the paintings “sem moldura” [without frames] produced in the fifties to her proposals involving “objetos relacionais” [relational objects] produced starting in the mid-sixties. The book contains as well essays by Brazilian critics and theorists Mário Pedrosa and Ferreira Gullar. In her text, Lygia compares the attitudes and spheres of action of Brazilian “youth” in the context of the limitations imposed by the military regime in power for two decades (1964–85) to those of artists. In her view, youth largely replaced artists at “the margins” of a submissive society. In the critical year of 1968—at the end of which AI-5 (Institutional Act no. 5), a decree prohibiting the exercise of almost all civil rights, was issued—Clark put forth the position that artists, whom she deemed “domesticated,” were complacent. It was at this critical juncture that news of individuals disappeared and murdered by Brazil’s repressive state apparatus came to light.
Brazilian artist Lygia Clark (1920–88) was active from the late forties through the eighties. In the fifties, after briefly producing figurative work on canvas, she joined a group of Rio de Janeiro-based artists initially known as Grupo Frente. Under the leadership of Ivan Serpa, that group looked to São Paulo as it became part of the Brazilian Concrete movement. Art critic Ferreira Gullar’s text “I Exposição Nacional de Arte Concreta: 2 ? O grupo do Rio” [doc. no. 1090217] describes and comments on work by Clark and others in the exhibition held in 1956. In the late fifties, Clark became part of the Neo-Concrete movement, which radically questioned the Concrete movement. That later movement began in 1959 with the launching of the “Manifesto Neoconcreto” written by Ferreira Gullar with artists Franz Weissmann, Amílcar de Castro, Lygia Pape, Reynaldo Jardim (who worked in theater), and Theon Spanudis (a poet), all of whom participated in the aforementioned I Exposição de Arte Neoconcreta (1959) in Rio.
Ferreira Gullar also considers the course of Clark’s work in the text, written in 1960, entitled “Do quadro ao não objeto” [doc. no. 1091272]. For a critical analysis of Clark’s international career through the eighties, see “Lygia Clark: In Search of the Body” [doc. no. 1232526], written in 1994 by English curator and critic Guy Brett, who took an active interest in her production from the beginning.
O escrito integra o livro "Lygia Clark" da coleção "Arte Brasileira Contemporânea", editada pela Funarte (Fundação Nacional de Artes) entre 1978 e 1983. O volume dedicado à artista documenta sua produção desde as pinturas "sem moldura" da década de 1950 até a proposição dos "objetos relacionais", a partir da segunda metade dos anos 1960, além de reunir ensaios de Mário Pedrosa e Ferreira Gullar. Neste texto, Lygia Clark compara as atuações e os lugares que artistas e "jovens" têm no ambiente do regime militar brasileiro (1964-1985). Para ela, os jovens substituiriam os artistas na composição da "marginália" da sociedade. Àquela altura, em 1968, às vésperas da promulgação do Ato Institucional no. 5 (AI-5), Clark considera até confortável a condição de artistas - "domesticados", talvez -, num momento em que irrompiam notícias sobre a morte de estudantes pelo aparelho repressor do Estado.
e- Reflexões sobre transformações históricas, perspectivas políticas e sentido social da arte