Hélio Oiticica, Eden, 1966–69/2005, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Hélio Oiticica, Eden, 1966–69/2005, mixed media, dimensions variable.


Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)

“I CHOOSE TROPICÁLIA not because it is liberal but because it is libertine.” With this pithy turn of phrase, poet Torquato Neto put forth two of the Brazilian movement’s most provocative claims: first, that it provided an ideological alternative to defensive nationalisms, both Left and Right, in late-’60s Brazil; and second, that this alternative was constructed on an aesthetics of punning and resignification, a revaluing of words and positions, a flipping of public platforms into playgrounds that would invert the so-called predicament of Brazil’s tropical malaise into a vibrant cultural legacy called Tropicália.

Curated by Carlos Basualdo, “Tropicália: A Revolution in Brazilian Culture” is the first major exhibition to address this phenomenon that peaked in the years between 1967, when a convergence of experiments in art, music, cinema, and theater came to define an emergent counterculture,

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