Beyond Participation: Helio Oiticica & Neville D’Almeida in New York, Leubsdorf Art Gallery, Hunter College, New York, NY


Helio Oiticica & Neville D’Almeida
Block-experiment in Cosmococa, CC1 Trashiscapes, 1973
Room installation with slide projectors, sound, mattresses, pillows & nail files

February 4 – May 1, 2010

The Hunter College Art Galleries presents an exhibition featuring a rare glimpse into the collaboration between artists Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida Beyond Participation: Hélio Oiticica and Neville D’Almeida in New York.

The collaboration between renowned Brazilian artists Hélio Oitica and Nevielle D’Almeida from the late 1960s though the 1970s changed how audiences perceived art, shifting them from passive viewers to active participants. Exhibited for the first time together, the slide-show environment Cosmococa—Programa in progress, CC1 Trashiscapes (1973) is shown alongside D’Almeida’s film Jardim de Guerra (1967), as well as two of Oiticica’s notebooks from 1973 reproduced in facsimile. The dynamic installation CC1 Trashiscapes comprises two projectors flashing 32 slide-photographs onto opposing gallery walls, accompanied by a soundtrack including forró music (typically from the Northeast of Brazil) such as Luis Gonzaga’s baião, Jimi Hendrix songs, street sounds, and voices. Mattresses line the floor, and nail files are available for use by visitors. The audience is invited to relax and recline horizontally while filing their nails in the dark as they watch the images on the surrounding walls. The slides themselves consist of three distinct photographic series: Luis Buñuel’s face on the cover of the New York Times Magazine, a series of black-and-white photographs of Luis Fernando Guimarães (an actor and friend of Oiticica) wearing Parangolé 30 Capa 23 M’Way Ke, and the album cover for Weasels Ripped My Flesh by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, all manipulated with white line of cocaine by the artists’. This work is an important progenitor of early video and installation art and influenced subsequent generations of artists tremendously.

Jocelyn Meade Elliott completed the coursework toward her MA in Art History at Hunter College and is working on her Master’s thesis on the subject of Hélio Oiticica’s filmic work made during his years in New York from 1970–78. She is an independent curator working in New York City.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a color catalogue featuring an essay by Jocelyn Meade Elliott, an interview with Neville D’Almeida, and text and images by Hélio Oiticia and Neville D’Almeida. Images are available upon request.