Hélio Oiticica is new Bexhill exhibition

Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion hosts the new exhibition Hélio Oiticica: Waiting For The Internal Sun.
Work by Hélio OiticicaWork by Hélio Oiticica
Work by Hélio Oiticica

It runs until Sunday, January 14 in the ground and first-floor galleries.

A spokesman said: “Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980) is widely regarded as one of Brazil's most prominent artists of the 20th century and a touchstone for much contemporary art made since the 1960s. Through freewheeling, participatory artworks – cinematic installations, immersive environments, interactive objects and abstract paintings – Oiticica challenges us to engage with our surroundings in new and unexpected ways, stimulating our senses, emotions and physical bodies.

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“This landmark exhibition coincides with the 50th anniversary of Oiticica and fellow artist Neville D’Almeida’s ground-breaking Cosmococa artworks. It will include a recreation of Cosmococa/CC5 Hendrix War (1973), an installation comprising projections on the walls and ceiling of the first floor gallery, a soundtrack by Jimi Hendrix and suspended Brazilian hammocks for visitors to relax in. At the centre of the ground floor gallery will be a recreation of Oiticica’s 1972 installation Projeto Filtro-For Vergara, where visitors are invited to go on a labyrinthine journey, encountering coloured, translucent walls, sound recordings, news streams and an orange juice dispenser. Taking its title from Oiticica’s essay The Possibilities of Creleisure (1970) in which he writes of lying ‘as if waiting for the internal sun, the non-representative leisure’, the exhibition highlights the enduring legacy of this trailblazing and visionary artist and the unique worlds that he created.”

In the ground floor gallery will be a recreation of Oiticica’s installation Projeto Filtro – For Vergara (1972) for the first time in the UK. An important example of the artists Penetrable artworks – in which the viewer is invited to enter and interact with the installation – Projeto Filtro takes visitors on a labyrinthine journey. Originally conceived for the Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) in Rio de Janeiro, the artist described the work as a ‘game-joke-labyrinth-noise-sound-recorder transistor buzzer blender TV’ that parodies ‘the myth of work and of kitsch … that contaminates little Brazilian minds’. It can be read as the third portrait of his native Brazil, alongside Tropicália (1966-67) and Subterranean Tropicália (1971), and is charged with the political context of Brazil’s military dictatorship from which Oiticica fled. Alongside this installation will be a series of replicas of the artist’s Parangolés: colourful capes and banners made from layers of fabric, plastic, mats and ropes, often with poetic or political messages inscribed in them. Each of these pieces are intended to be activated by moving bodies, and visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to participate in the experience of wearing these dynamic artworks.

“The immersive installations presented within the DLWP exhibition are accompanied by an archival section in the Ground floor gallery, bringing together photography, film and writings by the artist.”