Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium Audio Guide Playlist
Narrator: Oiticica made this installation for a 1967 exhibition in Rio.
Christopher Dunn: And he creates this installation, known as Tropicália, that features these two structures that he called Penetraveis, or Penetrables, in which people could literally enter and penetrate, as it were, set within a larger space covered in rocks and dirt—the kind of ground cover that you might find walking in a poor neighborhood in urban Brazil. And tropical plants, and even a tropical animal, a parrot that's in a cage.
One of the Penetrables simply has written on it, "pureza el mito", or "purity is a myth," which questions some of the assumptions about any national culture and the quest for originality. And the other one was more of a mazelike structure. It was bigger, in which the person, the participant, the viewer, would enter, go around several times until the person was completely enveloped in darkness, and at the end there was a television set that was turned on. And what he was trying to do there, I think, was to point to ways in which the favela, oftentimes seen as these places that are pre-modern, by that time were already places where people had television sets. And so there was this sort of juxtaposition there, of on one hand, what I called the aesthetics of precarity, right, these kind of precarious structures that evoke the precarious dwellings of the favelas. And yet at the same time you have this symbol of, what at that time was ultra-modernity, which was a television set.
Hélio Oiticica (1937–1980), installation view of Tropicália (1966–67) at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 2016. Plants, sand, birds, and poems by Roberta Camila Salgado, dimensions variable. Collection of César and Claudio Oiticica. © César and Claudio Oiticica. Image courtesy Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Photograph by Bryan Conley
- 500 Hélio Oiticica, Introduction
- 501 Hélio Oiticica, Metaesquema
- 502 Hélio Oiticica, P58 Spatial Relief, Red (P58 Relevo espacial, vermêlho), 1960
- 503 Hélio Oiticica, NC6 Medium Nucleus 3 (NC6 Núcleo médio 3), 1961–63
- 504 Hélio Oiticica, B16 Box Bólide 12, Archaeological (B16 Bólide caixa 12, Arqueológico), 1964-65
- 505 Hélio Oiticica, B33 Box Bólide 18, Homage to Cara de Cavalo (B33 Bólide caixa 18, Homenagem à Cara de Cavalo), 1965-66
- 505-2 Hélio Oiticica, B33 Box Bólide 18, Homage to Cara de Cavalo (B33 Bólide caixa 18, Homenagem à Cara de Cavalo), 1965-66
- 506 Hélio Oiticica, Seja marginal, seja herói (Be an outlaw, be a hero), 1968
- 507 Hélio Oiticica, Tropicália, 1966-67
- 508 Hélio Oiticica, Eden, 1969
- 509 Hélio Oiticica, Rio Parangolés
- 509-2 Hélio Oiticica, Rio Parangolés
- 510 Hélio Oiticica, Babylonests, 1971
- 511 Hélio Oiticica, Topázion-Flor for Haroldo de Campos, 1975
- 512 Hélio Oiticica, Cosmococa
- 513 Hélio Oiticica, PN27 Penetrable, Rijanviera, 1979
- 514 Hélio Oiticica, Manhattan Brutalista (Brutalist Manhattan), 1978