Left – Miro de Mangueira with P2 Parangolé Flag 1, Opinião 65, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, 1965
Right – The poet and composer Torcuato Neto wearing P4 Parangolé Cape 1 (1964) at Apocalipopótese, Atêrro do Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro, 1968
Hélio Oiticica, Apocalipopótese, 1968
by Monica Amor and Carlos Basualdo
from THE ARTIST AS CURATOR #8 – in Mousse #49
A lengthy and revealing letter from Oiticica to Lygia Clark dated October 15, 1968, indicates that his earlier embrace of the outcast, developed in the context of the favela, had become by that time an ideological position against the increasingly brutal “terrorism of the right” (terrorismo de direita).  The latter, as the critic Roberto Schwartz observed in 1969, involved a series of dramatic side effects: “the massive return of everything that modernization had left behind; it was the revenge of the provinces, of small proprietors, of sexual and religious prudery, of small-time lawyers, etc.”  Oiticica invoked in this letter Herbert Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization, and mobilized terms familiar to an intercontinental generation (in Europe and the Americas) aspiring to revolt: freedom, marginality, alienated and non-alienated work, repression, censorship. That last, observed Oiticica, was being deployed, viciously, against the theatrical productions of José Celso Martinez Corrêa (to whom Apocalipopótese was dedicated), which Schwarz described in terms of insult, brutality, scandal, outrageous offense, and attack on the audience.  In the letter Oiticica credited Duarte with inventing the term Apocalipopótese as a new concept for a type of mediating object for participation.  Not political participation, as with some theater of the period related to the traditional left, but liberating participation—non-instrumental participation aimed at the forging of radical subjectivity outside norms and social constraints.