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Hélio Oiticica


Hélio Oiticica

(Cesar Oiticica Filho, 2012)

Preceded by Isle of Flowers (Ilha das flores, Jorge Furtado, 1989)

Via Brasil

Via Brasil is the Wexner Center’s multidisciplinary initiative focusing on contemporary art and culture in Brazil made possible by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Cruzamentos: Contemporary Brazilian Documentary

Cruzamentos: Contemporary Brazilian Documentary continues with visits from some of the most prominent filmmakers working in Brazil today. Developed in conjunction with the exhibition currently on view in our galleries, this series offers an unprecedented opportunity to discover one of the most vital—and seldom seen—documentary traditions happening anywhere in the world.

Thu, Feb 27, 2014 7 PM

Although he died young in 1982, Hélio Oiticica has increasingly become recognized as one of the most inspiring and influential artists of the revolutionary 1960s and 70s. Taking cues from a spectrum of influences that ranged from Rio’s street life to Jimi Hendrix, Oiticica’s career encompassed performance art, sculpture, painting, film, and installation art (his 1967 installation “Tropicália” gave the movement its name), including the visionary “quasi-cinema” installations re-created for the Wexner Center’s 2001 exhibition of his work. Foregoing voiceover narration and talking heads, the film is narrated by Hélio Oiticica himself, using rare, archival material culled from countless interviews and audio diaries. Made by the artist’s nephew, this bold, complex documentary provides a kaleidoscopic filmic exaltation that allows us to enter into the artist’s dizzying, roiling life, art, and imagination. (94 mins., video)

Quite likely the most famous Brazilian short film, Isle of Flowers is a savage cine-essay that tracks the path of a tomato to the garbage dump. The film’s deadpan voiceover touches upon all manner of social horrors before illustrating how food that isn’t fit for pigs is given to the poor. (13 mins., video)