Skip to main content

Possibilities of the Object: Experiments in Modern and Contemporary Brazilian Art

Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh until May 25th
Four stars

Revolutionary spirit in abundance pervades throughout this compendium of eighteen contemporary Brazilian artists, many of whom have been rarely seen outside their volatile homeland since the 1950s which some of the earliest works on show date from. It's all too telling in the downstairs gallery that each of the ten black cubes scattered around the centre of the room that make up Antonio Dias' 'Cabecas' ('Heads') (1968) have a slot in the top. While they look as if they're awaiting a kiddy-sized bus party, they also have the air of stolen ballot boxes put into a more fun environment that redefines politics as playtime.

Elsewhere the bits and pieces of the show are denuded completely, with Jac Leirner's 'Vago 51' ('Vacant 51') (2008) a plastic bag not only flattened on the wall behind glass, but its innards gutted, rendering it useless other than the remaining handle which effectively holds the bag's frame and nothing else.Fernanda Gomes' untitled vertically standing shelf (2013) is even more functionless, sliced so close that storing anything would be impossible.

Then there is Carlos Zillo's tellingly named 'Para um jovem de brilhante futuro' ('For A Young Man With Brilliant Prospects') (1974), which puts an open briefcase filled with rows of nails pointing upwards inside a glass case with the jar of nails that make up 'Fragmentos de parsagen' ('Landscape Fragments') (1974) beside it. Ernesto Neto's 'Partula Passo' (1988) loads a pair of nylon stockings with lead balls, transforming hosiery into an undercover but no less deadly weapon. Even more disguised is Artur Barrio's 'Nocturnes (Transportative) no. 4' (2001), in which a fabric hooded bread box hangs from the ceiling, its status carefully documented on its covering. In the everyday dictatorship it sprang from, it is the contradictions inherent in the system personified to make perfect sense.
 
The List, March 2015

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art School Dance Goes On Forever – Snapshots Of Masters Of The Multiverse

Intro – Snapshots – Deaf School

1

In 1980, the same year as the Manchester band, Magazine, released a 7
inch single called A Song From Under The Floorboards – a three verse
and chorus distillation of Dostoyevsky's novel, Notes From Underground
– an art school scandal occurred.

This scandal took place in Liverpool, and was based around a project
called the Furbelows, although it became better known in the Liverpool
Echo and other organs that reported it as the Woolly Nudes.

The Furbelows, or Woolly Nudes, were a group of artists who had come
out of Liverpool College of Art, who, dressed in grotesque woolly
costumes which featured knitted approximations of male and female
genitalia, made assorted public interventions around the city centre as
kind of living sculptures acting out assorted narratives.

The Furbelows project had been funded by what was then Merseyside Arts
Association, and, after the participants were arrested and taken to
court on obscenity charges after what…

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…