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    This fold-out exhibition catalogue accompanied the 1996 exhibition “Desexp(l)os(ign)ição,” a commemoration of the historic Exposição Nacional de Arte Concreta forty years prior, in December 1956. Written by the poet Haroldo de Campos, the essay describes the exhibition’s many components, which both documented and “activated” the 1956 exhibition in the museum space, and included galleries devoted to younger artists “in dialogue” with the pioneers of constructivism. Like the event it references, this exhibition sought to escape the conservative museological confines of a local “petite histoire,” activating the principles of concrete poetry and art in a contemporary context. It included, as the booklet notes, laser projection of poetry on the buildings of Avenida Paulista, a musical act wearing parangolés at the opening in homage to Hélio Oiticica, and the creation of several websites “expressively exploring the language of the internet.”

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    Haroldo de Campos (1929–2003), with his brother Augusto de Campos (b. 1931), and Décio Pignatari (1927–2012), launched the Brazilian concrete poetry movement when they formed the group Noigandres in 1952. During the following ten years, they published five issues of a magazine of the same name. The members of the Grupo Noigandres were in close contact with the intellectuals, painters, and sculptors who also joined forces in São Paulo in 1952 to form the Ruptura group [see in the ICAA digital archive by Waldemar Cordeiro “Ruptura” (doc. no. 1085337)]. This essay illustrates how José Roberto Aguilar, director of São Paulo’s Casa de Rosas, sought to bridge the principal tenets of concretism in the visual arts and poetry. Aguilar invited artists to “transcribe” the verses of concrete poets, including Augusto de Campos by ZeNetto, Haroldo de Campos by Marco Giannotti, and Décio Pignatari by himself, on the ground floor. The floor above featured works by the concrete artists who participated in the 1956 exhibition, including Geraldo de Barros, Lygia Clark, Hermelindo Fiaminghi, Lygia Pape and Amílcar de Castro, among others. A special room was dedicated to Waldemar Cordeiro and a 20-meter parangolé remembered Hélio Oiticica, who died in 1980.

     

    Hélio Oiticica (1937–80) studied painting with Ivan Serpa in 1954 at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro. He later joined the Grupo Frente and the Neo-Concrete movement. In addition to his geometric paintings, which he made while studying with Serpa, Oiticica produced performance and participatory art. His parangolés (1964)—“habitable paintings”—are capes, flags, banners and tents made from layers of painted fabric, plastics, mats, screens, ropes and other materials. Representing the culmination of Oiticica’s experimentation with color as form and its relation to the environment, they were designed to be worn by the Mangueira Samba School, transforming its dancers into “color in motion.”

     

    [For more on the Exposição Nacional de Arte Concreta, see the following articles in the ICAA digital archive: by Miguel Germano “Esposicao nacional de Arte Concreta” (doc. no. 1305788); the poster for the “Exposição nacional de arte concreta: artes visuais poesia” (doc. no. 1232176); by Waldemar Cordeiro “Teoria e prática do concretismo carioca” (doc. no. 1087287); by Ferreira Gullar “Arte concreta no Brasil: etapas da pintura contemporânea” (doc. no. 1090830), “O Grupo de São Paulo: I Exposição Nacional de Arte Concreta” (doc. no. 1087166), and “I Exposição Nacional de Arte Concreta: - O grupo do Rio” (doc. no. 1090217); by Décio Pignatari “Arte concreta: objeto e objetivo” (doc. no. 1087349); and by Jose Vieira “Exposição Nacional de Arte Concreta” (doc. no. 1087109).

     

    For more on Hélio Oiticica, see his articles “Parangolé: da anti-arte as apropriações ambientais de Oiticica” (doc. no. 1110631) and “Tropicália” (doc. no. 1074985)].