Anthropophagous, Chronopes and Cannibals

The reaction against wisdom indigestion. The best of our lyrical tradition. The best of our modern demonstration"
“We have had communism. We have had surrealism.The golden age.

Catiti Catiti Imara Notiá Notiá Imara Ipejú.”
“Oh, such laziness”

Ecstasies, sensations. Brazilian art utters its war cry: CanibáliAfetiva, gathering Oswald’s and Tarsila’s, Villa’s and Brecheret’s outstanding heirs. To match in voracity the cannibals coming from abroad, our affective Canibália. Our interest in Anthropophagy lies in its clear principles, in the fact that it is valid for the 20’s, while CanibáliAfetiva is movement crossing the millennium boundaries.

In common, a voracious appetite to devour both the intelligence and the fluids of the one chosen, in order to be born again as a revived animal. I recall Cortázar’s chronopes, so different from fame, when talking about our gentle cannibals, as a matter of fact, twelve immortal cannibals and two chronopes.

If “joy is the final test”, according to Oswald the poet in his manifesto, than “intelligent folly” is the motto for our curatorial amusement, much more relevant than official curatorships. When searching for the sources of the Anthropophagic Movement 4, going through the Manifeste Cannibale Dada and the History of Cannibalism, it becomes clear that “being human is being anthropophagous”.

Cannibalism has entered semantics due to its archaeological, ethnological events, fashionable primitivism and African art at the beginning of the century. It came out a few years after the French magazine Cannibale and Francis Picabia’s Manifeste Cannibale Dada, both from 1920. In content, Brazilian Anthropophagy benefits from its programmatic ideas.

In the A Crise da Filosofia Messiânica (Messianic Philosophy Crisis), Oswald himself differentiates between ritual anthropophagy and sheer cannibalism . However, CanibáliAfetiva has an additional utopia, that of aggregating artists and thinkers who are in tune with each other by an affective and cultural interdevouring attitude.

And that’s it, regardless of either restrained or restraining mental gymnastics, what matters is the general pleasure through art. In Brazil’s cultural pothole, one may include a number of creators who keep on cannibalizing so as to ensure that our culture be maintained. A matter of survival. “Tupi or not tupi* , that is the question. Only anthropophagy keeps us together. Socially. Economically. Philosophically.”

From Bossa Nova to Tropicália, Cinema Novo and Teatro Oficina, arms and minds have been emerging – in many senses – from this cannibalizing process in our culture. CanibáliAfetiva presents some of the most distinguished Brazilian artists. They have stood out, at least in some moments of their careers, as legitimate heirs of Anthropophagy: Antonio Henrique Amaral, Antonio Peticov, Artur Alípio Barrio, Hélio Oiticica, Caíto, Ivald Granato Maria Martins, Nelson Leirner, Rubens Gerchman, Siron Franco, Aguilar, Franz Krajcberg.

The artists gathered here are the genuine cannibalaffective, each one in his or her manner carrying on the oswaldian thinking embedded in the hearts of the Avant-garde. They are anarchic-lovers of the third millennium, genius of the human race, as Glauber Rocha would say. There will be others, but we are happy with this almost-impossible-to-gather team.

Seducers because of their devouring aesthetics, multi-intelligent, these artists personify Brazil’s art diversity, which should be thought on and permeated with the question raised by the XXIV Biennial. We cannot fail to notice in many of them some densities –épaisseur, according to Lyotard – which fill larger gaps than those seemingly visible. In this garden of delights, the current paradigm cast from the clouds: to be or not to be cannibal, that is the question.

Piratininga, year 444 of Bishop Sardinha’s Devouring.

Paulo Klein

ANDRADE, Oswald de / Manifesto da poesia Pau-Brasil (Manifesto of the Pau-Brasil poetry), article published in the Correio da Manhã newspaper, Rio de Janeiro, March 18th, 1924
ANDRADE, Oswald de / Manifesto Antropofágico (Anthropophagic Manifesto) / Revista de Antropofagia magazine, São Paulo, Year 1, May 1928.
ANDRADE, Mário de/ Macunaíma/
CAMPOS, Augusto – Introductory text in the 50th commemorative edition of the Revista Antropofágica magazine/ Metal Leve/ 1972
ANDRADE, Oswald de/ Manifesto Antropofágico / São Paulo 1928.
LYOTARD, F./ Annals of the XXIV International Biennial of São Paulo. *A pun on Shakespeare’s “To be or not To be...” using a Brazilian native language, Tupi-Guarani.


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