Boîte HO: Hélio Oiticica (Undoing the Image 5) (Urbanomic / Art Editions)
How one of the leading artists of Neo-Concretism Hélio Oiticica presaged the unique trajectory of Brazilian contemporary art with his intensive color-architectures.
“The IMAGE-grip is dislocated and a more fundamental element emerges: in short, IMAGE is not the work’s supreme motive or unifying end.”—Hélio Oiticica
At the turn of the 1950s–1960s, one of the leading artists of Neo-Concretism, Hélio Oiticica, presaged the unique trajectory of Brazilian contemporary art with his intensive color-architectures. In the wake of this vivência of “time-color,” which subordinates the aesthetic to the sensorimotor powers of color, Oiticica’s transcategorial, transmedia works critically and clinically undermine physical and social architecture, while semiotically subverting the forms of domination exerted by the image.
In this culmination of their reassessment of the relation among art, philosophy, and the contemporary, Éric Alliez and Jean-Claude Bonne show how these works are exemplary not only of a truly diagrammatic thought and practice, but also of the South’s resistance against the coldly indifferent globalism endemic to the pacified institutions of contemporary art. Oiticica’s tropicalization of the commonplaces of sixties art signals the latent potential of a marginal dissidence from both the aesthetic form of art and the conceptual form of anti-art.