Project
Antropofagia

Antropofagia was the Brazilian answer to the trauma of colonial contact: eat the culture of the colonizer. Digest it. Hybridize it at the molecular level of your body, then make your art. In a forthcoming article for MIT Press Journal Art Margins, this theory is examined as it was silently modeled by Oscar Niemeyer in his architectures for the Sao Paulo Bienal beginning in 1954, from which it irrevocably altered the course of ‘neoconcretismo’ as practiced by artists Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica in the late ‘60s. Niemeyer’s international style slabs, built for the Bienal and other celebratory nationalist functions, were physically connected by a biomorphic aegis of no clear function. This Marquise, or covered walkway, stretched over “the people” and provided free access to the often ticketed events of the official pavilions. By design, it was punctured by Roberto Burle-Marx’s tropical ecology and to this day serves populist agendas in the public park. Polemically, I argue that in aerial plan it reveals an anthropomorphic outline -- antropofagically digesting Corbusier’s recently released Modulor man and rendering it prone, gigantic, and usefully abject.”