Critics’ Picks

Guilherme Vaz and Carlos Bedurap Zoró, untitled, 1999, oil on canvas, 68 x 56".

Guilherme Vaz and Carlos Bedurap Zoró, untitled, 1999, oil on canvas, 68 x 56".

São Paulo

Guilherme Vaz

SESC | Pompéia
Clelia street, 93 Água Branca
May 5–August 6, 2017

With Hélio Oiticica, Cildo Meireles, and Artur Barrio, the artist and composer Guilherme Vaz was among the four Brazilian participants in Kynaston McShine’s 1970 “Information” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A retrospective of Vaz’s work took place last year at Rio de Janeiro’s CCBB, and this venue hosts another iteration of the show. It opens with two films for which Vaz created the sound track. One, Fome de Amor (1968), is a Nelson Pereira dos Santos–directed Nouvelle Vague–era work shot in Angra dos Reis and New York, and widely considered the first Brazilian film to feature musique concrète. The score for the other, Brasiliários (1986), stems from a collaboration with director Sérgio Bazi and was inspired by a text from writer Clarice Lispector. Akin to much of Michelangelo Antonioni’s work, Bazi’s heralded film portrays a woman—Lispector as played by Cláudia Pereira—and her journey through Brasilia’s iconic modernist architecture.

Both of these films are accompanied by parts of Vaz’s composition scripts, as well as a vitrine with documents related to the artist’s music production over a number of decades as he moved between Brasilia, Bahia, and Rio de Janeiro. It also includes correspondence with the late Bahia-based musician Walter Smetak, the now-defunct German Telewissen collective, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder collaborator Peer Raben. As part of a presentation of Vaz’s Crude, 2015, viewers are invited to improvise tonal arrangements by activating six wall-mounted paper sculptures featuring contact microphones. It all concludes with a series of sound and video works as well as six untitled paintings from 1999, the latter of which the artist produced in partnership with indigenous populations in central and northern Brazil.