Book Launch: Hélio Oiticica: Folding the Frame by Irene V. Small

Book Launch: Hélio Oiticica: Folding the Frame by Irene V. Small

Book Launch: Hélio Oiticica: Folding the Frame by Irene V. Small
May 26, 2016

Join us at e-flux on Thursday, May 26, at 7:30 pm to celebrate the launch of Hélio Oiticica: Folding the Frame by Irene V. Small, published by the University of Chicago Press.

The event will include a conversation between Irene V. Small and Sofia Hernández Chong Cuy. Following the discussion, audience members will be invited to realize Oiticica’s Made-on-the-Body-Capes (1968), an unlimited multiple the artist published in 1970.

With music selected by Béco Dranoff.

Irene V. Small
Hélio Oiticica: Folding the Frame
University of Chicago Press, February 2016, ISBN: 978-0-226-26016-7

Hélio Oiticica (1937–80) was one of the most brilliant Brazilian artists of the 1960s and 1970s. He was a forerunner of participatory art, and his melding of geometric abstraction and bodily engagement has influenced contemporary artists from Cildo Meireles and Ricardo Basbaum to Gabriel Orozco, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, and Olafur Eliasson. This book examines Oiticica’s impressive works against the backdrop of Brazil’s dramatic postwar push for modernization.

From Oiticica’s late 1950s experiments with painting and color to his mid-1960s wearable Parangolés, Small traces a series of artistic procedures that foreground the activation of the spectator. Analyzing works, propositions, and a wealth of archival material, she shows how Oiticica’s practice recast—in a sense “folded”—Brazil’s utopian vision of progress as well as the legacy of European constructive art. Ultimately, the book argues that the effectiveness of Oiticica’s participatory works stems not from a renunciation of art, but rather from their ability to produce epistemological models that reimagine the traditional boundaries between art and life.

Irene V. Small is assistant professor of modern and contemporary art and criticism in the department of Art & Archaeology at Princeton University, where she is also an affiliated faculty member of the Programs in Media & Modernity, Latin American Studies, and the department of Spanish & Portuguese. Her essays and criticism have appeared in Artforum, Third Text, October, and Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics, among others. She is a catalogue contributor to Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium, opening at the Carnegie Museum of Art in October 2016 and touring to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Sofia Hernández Chong Cuy is curator of contemporary art at the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. She was chief curator of the 9th Mercosul Biennial in 2013 and an agent of dOCUMENTA 13 in 2012. She served as director of the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City and has held curatorial positions at Art in General and the Americas Society. In addition, she has curated numerous international exhibitions at such institutions as the Kadist Art Foundation (Paris), MALBA (Buenos Aires), and the Center for Contemporary Art (Vilnius). In 2009 she initiated the editorial project Murmur. She teaches at the School of the Visual Arts and is a member of the board of directors of Triple Canopy.

With the generous support of the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA).

For more information, contact program [​at​]

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