Eleonora Fabião, "Mancha Preta" (performance), 2015 Felipe Ribeiro

Luiz Camillo Osorio in conversation with Eleonora Fabião

Eleonora Fabião is, without doubt, a unique artist. Lover of the streets (which she claims to take alongside her wherever she goes) and innate performer, her practice stems from the encounter with other people and the unknown. Used to defying social conventions, she also inverts the expectations of this interview granted to Luiz Camillo Osorio. The artist talks to the Curator of PIPA Institute as if she were writing a letter, sometimes interrupting the logic of her answers in order to describe what is going on around her at the time of her writing, sometimes exchanging positions with him, becoming the interviewer instead of an interviewee: “What do you think, Camillo?,” she asks.

Luiz Camillo Osorio in conversation with Eleonora Fabião

 

Eleonora, from your initial training as an actress, you went on to a Master’s in Social History of Culture and then converged to Performance Studies at NYU, where you pursued another master’s degree and a PhD. I see your work today as teacher, researcher, and artist as a mix of all of it, culminating in a type of performance that includes both the academic and the art worlds: two somewhat distinct, yet complementary universes. I, myself, experienced a similar process when I worked both in the curatorship of the Musem of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM-Rio) and at the University — I lived the daily changes of the internal time of my being in the world, which went from the concentrated time of the university, and the dispersed time of the curatorial function, that deals with everything, especially in the case of MAM-Rio. How do you see this dynamic? How does it influence your everyday engagement with your poetics, with your artwork? How do you take it to the academic world, and how do you include this in your Lattes? I wanted to know your opinion about this broken subjectivity of ours.

First of all, Camillo, thank you very much for inviting me to this conversation, for sending me your questions. Right now, I’m in a little house in Fredrikstad, Norway. I’m sitting in front of a window, there is snow everywhere, I write from here.

What I can tell you is that I experience more of an associative subjectivity, even a multiplicative one, than a broken subjectivity. I experience the classroom as a performative space and the pedagogical work as an artistic one. As the years went by, I came to understand (and practice) the university as another space for creation, and I came to articulate “theory” and “practice” as inseparable. The fact is that there is a kind of performative action that interests me a lot and can only be accomplished in the long term of the semester, on weekly meetings of more than 3 hours with a same group of people – it is site-specific, temporal-specific, and group-specific art. Do you remember a letter from Lygia Clark to Hélio Oiticica where she says that while working at Sorbonne she had finally found the proper conditions to develop her propositions? In the letter, she explains that the continued encounters allowed her to touch what she wanted, to access what she was interested in, to detach herself from the spectacular. It’s a 1974 letter where she describes “Baba Antropofágica” [Anthropophagic Slobber] and “Cabeça Coletiva” [Collective Head]. I hear and understand what she is saying.

At UFRJ [Federal University of Rio de Janeiro], I teach 90 or 60-hour theoretical-practical courses for undergraduates in Theater Directing, and for postgraduates in the Arts of the Scene Program. I see each course as an action and, throughout the semester, I conceive and propose performative programs for the participants. Here it would be better to listen to a student who works with me and see what they think, how they perceive the classroom as seen as a space of performance and the course program as a performative one. The proposal is to inquire ourselves constantly about that space and time. The proposal is to thoroughly investigate a set of selected materials and articulate them (texts, concepts, image archives, psychophysical propositions); to experiment how concepts create energy and body (and vice-versa); to work thought, feeling, sensation and action in articulated ways; to invite participants to relate to each other by means of the materials studied; to value each contribution and group work, the singularities of the bodies and the collective body. And, outside the university, it is not very different. Sometimes I participate in festivals proposing combined actions: performances in the streets + a performative lecture + a workshop. That’s how the idea of the triptychs came up. The “Triptych Miami” happened last week in the Living Together Series (Museum of Art and Design, Miami Dade College).

As for the Lattes Curriculum – and here I also include the Sucupira Platform – categorizations coming straight from exact sciences are a challenge for the Arts field. For example, papers published in the most prominent magazines in the Arts have the same weight as a book – and we know how much work is involved in publishing a book in our area. Categorizing performances whose modes of production and circulation are not traditional, that happen outside of institutional circuits and of the art market, is also challenging. The way I see it, it is important to keep discussing and fine-tuning criteria because graduate programs are awarded incentives according to scores collected from such platforms. The field of research in Arts has been growing a lot; as I am part of many master’s and doctorate evaluation committees, I can see the quality and quantity of work in progress. The contribution of artists-researchers and their specific modes of reflection and action are crucial for several communities. Supporting and stimulating research in arts has become fundamental.

Now, to conclude my answer, working at the university, a precious Brazilian public university such as UFRJ, is an extremely meaningful form of pedagogical, artistic and political contribution to me (very much, indeed), one that made possible encounters, debates, intergenerational exchanges and continued research. It is also a source of income that supports my sometimes unconventional processes of creation and artistic circulation.

What is the genealogy of your poetics, with which you would identify yourself? I keep thinking, regarding Brazilian art, in the “experiences” of Flavio de Carvalho or the poetic wanderings of Artur Barrio, like “4 dias, 4 noites”. In them, however, the poetic act is more a result of difference than of identity with people on the streets: it is not by chance that Flavio de Carvalho’s  “walk” occurs in the opposite of a procession and the wanderings of Artur Barrio is made in the suspension of consciousness, a process in which one comes totally out of oneself, a becoming another arising from a disconnection. How do you see yourself in this genealogy?

I’m going to think aloud, okay? I’ll go slowly, and then approach the issue of the work’s genealogy. So. When I say “street”, what exactly do you visualize? I don’t understand the street as a support for the actions I perform; I see it as a dense field, or still, a cosmos itself. The scale is human, but the extension is cosmic. For me, the street is not a place to be occupied, but a highly charged zone, a field of multiple and often conflictive forces to move with. Once on the street, you move with it, you move it, and you are moved by it. In this whirlwind, matters are not inert occupants; they are part of the sociopolitical and historical-affective streams crossing that (trans-temporal) space that, themselves (human and non-human matters) form in their ongoing metamorphoses. The question is how to measure up to it. It’s how to get into the middle of it. How to get into the middle because lots of things are already happening and will continue to happen. The question is the jump, how to jump in and, then, to which matters you adhere to and to which ones you resist to (objective and subjective matters). To let happen (to be receptive) and to make things happen (agencies, assemblages). Aesthetics is my way in (and my way out). Poetic action is what suspends the conformed, opens up things, touches them, “stranges” them, unleashes rare relationships, rearranges (reveals the co-constitutive intra-actions occurring among all kinds of human and non-human bodies). What affects and (de)compositions a performative action will be able to trigger? What affects and (de)compositions will it be able to block? Because belonging and not belonging, consensus and dissensus, consonance and dissonance, all of them are happening all the time. Performance, in general, does not want to make sense or not make sense; it performs sense as a making, the collective making of senses. The ways of resisting and adhering of Flávio de Carvalho and Barrio in the pieces you mentioned are informed by specific historical moments – Flávio de Carvalho in 1931 (post-1930’s Revolution, the same year that Artaud publishes the first Theatre of Cruelty’s Manifesto), and Artur Barrio in 1970 (year of the football World Cup in Mexico, the “leaden years” in Emilio Garrastazu Médici’s Brazil, the period of the so-called “economic miracle”). I learn a lot from their works, I pay a lot of attention to the ways in which the “experiences” and the “situations” happened then and continue to happen today when we evoke them, in the poetic and political folds they have provoked and keep provoking, in their particular ways of “stranging”, of suspending conventions and (de)composing; in the body that Flávio de Carvalho makes as he walks against the flow, and that Barrio’s altered state of consciousness unmakes; in the systems of street-relation, street-sensation and street-thought that their bodies trigger. Now, trying to think with you about genealogy, or wishing genealogy in the most unpretentious way, the artist who comes to my mind is William L. Pope because I admire his work immensely. I know William, and I learn a lot from him. The way he is available for a certain kind of contact with the world (see his crawlings, street performances, actions on sidewalks), his way of touching the whole body in the social body. His tools are the bizarre, the strangeness, the susceptibility. The adventure. There is a kind of minimalismo de raiz [root minimalism] (I’m laughing at this idea). His experimentalism has tenderness at the base. There is humor, causticity, and extreme lucidity. The intelligence of a drum. He is a poet of action. Have you seen his flag? A 2015 work entitled “Trinket”?

What other references would you quote as an influence/dialogue for your actions?

There are so many references, so many people, books, concepts, works, stories. The human and non-human things that I learn from and that motivate me to act. The networks of solidarity and pacifist activism, everyone and everything that deconstructs logics of violence and domination. And my loves. Arthur Bispo do Rosário and the archive of everything that exists in the world. Lygia Clark and her trajectory-stream. Hélio Oiticica, his palette, words, life, political imagination. Tehching Hsieh and all his times, psychophysical experimentation, determination. Yoshi Oida, with whom I learned about movement sensation and posture, the starting point for the development of my “nervura da ação” theory [“vein of the action” or “nervure of the action” theory]. Adrian Piper is a sun. Meg Stuart, Pina Bausch, and Lia Rodrigues, because their dances make ground. The many women performing amazing works in the 1960s, 70s, 80s, some of which are still very active today. The list is long: Joan Jonas, Valie Export, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Lygia Pape, Letícia Parente, Sônia Andrade, Léa Lublin, Ana Mendieta, Antonieta Sosa, Rebecca Horn, Yayoi Kusama, María Teresa Hincapié, Simone Forti, Yoko Ono, Carolee Schneemann… and many more, they opened so many ways. My library, or better, my books’ nest – especially the ones on performance studies, body studies and philosophy. I learned a lot about the body studying the work of Wilhelm Reich and being treated by Reichian therapists. The Department of Performance Studies at New York University, where I finished my doctoral studies and taught as a guest teacher, broadened my perception and allowed me to meet American experimentalism. The authors of texts in the book Ações [Actions]: Adrian Heathfield, André Lepecki, Barbara Browning, Diana Taylor, Felipe Ribeiro, Pablo Assumpção B. Costa, and Tania Rivera. My life with André Lepecki, with whom I have a daughter, and with whom I talk, share, make the everyday. And the many contemporary artists I follow, with whom I dialogue closely or from afar, Ronald Duarte, Rodrigo Braga, Rivane Neuenschwander, Ricardo Basbaum, Marcio Abreu, Grace Passô, José Fernando Azevedo, Antonio Araújo, Adriana Schneider and the Bonobando, José Celso Martinez Correa and the Uzyna Uzona, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Lía García La Novia Sirena, Crack Rodriguez, Janine Antoni, Maria La Ribot, Lucia Russo, Marcela Levi, Gustavo Ciríaco, Regina José Galindo, Tim Etchells, Elevator Repair Service, Every House Has a Door, Thomas Lehmen, Vera Mantero, Paulo Nazareth, Tatiana Altberg, Oficina Experimental de Poesia, Fernanda Magalhães, etc…

Your “actions” happen essentially on the street. Your book is dedicated to the people of the street. In this space of flow, displacement, and contamination, your interventions seek and promote intervals. They create situations in which the ordinary and the extraordinary mingle incessantly. How did this option for the street happen?

It’s February 2018 and I don’t know if my “actions happen essentially on the street”. The book Ações/Actions was published in 2015 (in Portuguese and English versions); there, everything happens right on the street, or, in the case of “Linha” [Line Piece], also inside the house of strangers. In 2016 I worked on the border between the street and the gallery – in the Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica [Hélio Oiticica Municipal Art Center] and its surroundings. It was a collective action called “MOVIMENTO HO” [HO MOVEMENT] curated by Izabela Pucu and Tania Rivera. There I experienced inside-outside circulations in which I became very interested. 4,700 bricks were used to make bridges and, eventually, build the fourth floor of the Casa das Mulheres da Maré [Women’s House at Maré]. The windows were opened, the electricity turned off, a wall painted yellow 100%, the color reflecting inside-outside. Before this work, in June 2016, together with a large group of collaborators, I performed a series of 5 actions/5 walks in the streets of the Colônia Juliano Moreira on the opening day of the exhibition “Das Virgens em Cardumes e a Cor das Auras” [On Virgins in Shoals of Fishes and On the Auras’ Color] at the Museu Bispo do Rosário Arte Contemporânea [Bispo do Rosário Contemporary Art Museum], curated by Daniela Labra. The name was “azul azul azul e azul” [blue blue blue and blue]. There I also had the inside-outside experience, coming in and out of the museum with three works by Bispo do Rosário (works that returned to the streets of Colônia Juliano Moreira for the first time 28 years after Bispo’s death, in palanquins and protected with acrylic domes in hours of low luminosity). That circulation left a huge impression on me. The next day — and I will tell you this intimacy — I had the feeling of having a tattoo on my throat. I mean, I’ve won, ever since, a tattoo: a blue triangle with the base on the floor of my neck. Anyway, at this point, the “essentially on the street” is a more flexible concept. As I see it, and this is crucial, I take the street with me wherever I go. It is in my body, in my velocities and modes, in the compositional tendency I have not to think that I am starting anything, that we are already in the middle.

But I want to tell you, dear Camillo, about my enchantment, about my craving for the streets. That’s how it is. I’m smiling here. Looking for words to tell. I’m on a train right now. A guy is looking at me because I’m smiling at you. What I do on the street is body, I make body. Behind me a girl is screaming on her cell phone in a language I don’t understand. I don’t understand a word of it. Tarequeque curdo ba targa dastêêê. She can be talking about killing herself or someone and I don’t understand a word. The ticket collector just came by. Where did I keep my ticket, for God’s sake? Should God be written in uppercase or lowercase? This is a big problem. I often keep a few things so well I end up losing them. And today is a blue morning with the moon in the sky. I love mornings with the moon. Well. Bueno. Bueno, le dijo la mula al freno y si fue. The street is a place where regulation and unpredictability reign together and deliriously. The street is a place of direct action, of confrontation; what happens there is urgent, time is there (there will be no other occasion to address what needs to be addressed there). Whatever happens, happens; whatever passes, passes; it is radically moving and changing. The cosmos-street. A constellation in motion. Constellations in motion. The Earth’s Milky Way. Yesterday I dreamed of a necklace that had as pendant a rectangle with a piece of the Milky Way. The street is a place of permanent negotiation. Of vulnerability and strength, that is, of potency. Of potentiality. Potentialities. The street is iridescent. Prismatic. Kaleidoscopic. Stroboscopic. So many sounds. So many smells. Sensory stimuli are rather intense. The street is “supra-sensorial”. Spirituality becomes open, manifest, mundane. “Senses”, said a friend, “are the path of access to the spiritual”. I never forgot his line. Consensus, dissensus, countersense, sense, nonsense, silence. It’s all in the making. Before your eyes. Your naked eyes. I like it intensely. In the “scene” that happens on the street the paradoxical vibration is very strong (that´s why I used the word “scene” in between quotes, to show that the word there vibrates quite a lot: “““scene”””). The frame of the “““““scene””””” crashes into pieces, and what you see are fragments in the air, suspended there, all day long, the frame’s pieces all suspended, floating as if. There, at that time-space, when time and space are performed, potentiality opens up as a flower opens. I tell you. Sense in suspension. And also multiple senses triggering simultaneously. It’s scene-non-scene. State of art-without-art, as Mario Pedrosa put it. Paradox. I really like smearing myself against the street. I even think it’s funny when something sticks to my hair — I could be irritated with something I don’t know what is, that sticks and annoys, but I’m not. It’s part of it — whatever happens is part of it. I’m part of it. It’s all part of it. The street is everyone’s place. Maybe the only place of all. The difference is everyone’s. Multiplicity is of all. There is so much, and yet, chance is much more will happen. Of course, the streets vary greatly from place to place. Just a while ago, when I was in Fredrikstad, I went for a walk. All I saw that was “out of place”, out of its most obvious ontological plot, was a glove lying in a field – someone had lost it but will probably come back because they know it will be there, waiting – and a broken office chair leaning against a garbage can – it wouldn’t fit inside. The street finds art funny and is making art all the time. All you have to do is to pay attention. Maybe that’s it – the street invites you to pay attention, otherwise… The thing is, life drive is very strong; so strong it’s almost fatal.

I keep thinking, looking out the window of the train. I intend to make a move that evinces the aesthetic current that is already circulating, which traverses us all, all things, an action that makes this electricity evident. A challenge is to seek the just measure of breaking and articulating, pushing and pulling, something that one can only do in movement, in precariousness, in relation.

I’m sending you here a quote from Adrian Piper. She writes in the 1970s, at the time of the “Catalysis Series”: “Art contexts per se (galleries, museums, performances, situations) are becoming increasingly unworkable for me. […] They preserve the illusion of an identifiable, isolatable situation, much as discrete forms do, and thus a pre-standardized set of responses. Because of their established functional identities, they prepare the viewer to be catalyzed, thus making actual catalysis impossible”.

What do you think Camillo?

I am also sending you three photos of a recent series called “singelas” [candid] taken by Felipe Ribeiro (streets of downtown Rio de Janeiro, August and September 2017). I had just got back from the post-doctorate, I really needed to “arrive” in the city.

Eleonora Fabião, “singela – mergulho na Rio Branco” / Felipe Ribeiro

 

Eleonora Fabião, “singela singela – 2 espelhos de 20 cm de diâmetro e 2 pop sockets” / Felipe Ribeiro

Eleonora Fabião, “singela singela singela – taca-cata” / Felipe Ribeiro

Considering art’s expanded temporality, we must impregnate the contingency of encounters in poetic times of longer duration. More than that, how interested are you in the transformation of an action into a work of art, or would the work be dissolved in the contingent experience of the performance?

If there is a work, the work is life itself. I understand the work as a way of existing in the world; of creating the world where I want to be and the life I want to live. And invite others to live. And invite others to invent. It is crucial to do with others and be done by others otherwise life fades away. To act by listening, always. There, on the streets’ time field. On the street’s always immediate temporality (even if we are on a stage or in a museum).

As a development of the previous question, how do you conceive “exhibiting” these actions in the future? What’s the status of the records? Can some other forms of waste from the moments on the street be taken to the exhibition space? Would the book act as an exhibition?

I don’t see the images of the works as documental records of the actions. The images are actual unfoldings of the actions with their own materialities and temporalities. The logic is not that of an archive that keeps and stores; of the photograph that reproduces and preserves, but that of the multiplication and sharing of matters. The drive is performative. It’s been a while since I realized that the pixel is an element. Water, air, earth, fire, pixel. I realized that the word pixel comes from “pix” (contraction of “picture”) + “element” = pix-el. That is, it is one more element which is part of the whole thing. The inclusion of this new element in the circuit allows the work to continue working with new interlocutors, in other spaces and times, through other performative dynamics and dimensions. The question is: whether by articulating which elements and which means, how can you keep the performative vibration of the work pulsing? This is the question.

Now I’m at a bar at the train station, waiting for a friend for a quick coffee; soon I’ll take another train to the airport. Wi-fi is free and American music with Caribbean swing plays in the background. At the table across from me, five gentlemen talk – all of them immigrants who certainly meet here often. I don’t understand a word they’re saying. I take a mental picture of them and keep it with me. Once in a while, I choose scenes and things to never forget. The photographers and cameramen who work with me are very important collaborators. However, I must tell you that I go out often to perform without being accompanied by a photographer. The matrix is really the body, the body as an issue. To make body, to share body, to conceive the archive as body, a performative archive.

In addition to the pixels and the body, the letters are another elemental. Water, air, earth, fire, pixel, body, letters. Just as I consider the images to be part of the thing, so are the words. The performative programs I write when I imagine the actions are part of the actions, they don’t precede them. The program triggers, guides, and moves the experimentation. That is, there are lots of materialities and temporalities at stake. The book was a path that I found, which seemed consistent with the work it presents — that book, with that size and weight, very yellow, in whose cover is written: “It is forbidden to sell this book. Actions was made to be given, received, traded, lost, found, purposely lost, donated, lent, passed on. Neither bought nor sold. […] The proposal is to continue the performative movement launched on the streets. What matters is the art of initiative”. This book is not for sale, it is not understood as merchandise. It is a gift and, as such, can’t be stolen. It’s neither saleable nor stealable. It’s got its own way of existing and working. And now and again there’s news. The other day I got an e-mail from a young woman who told me she and her family had read the book together. Three generations gathered, the book-campfire, discussing it! Can’t even tell you how I felt.

As for possible exhibitions, it will depend on circumstances, conditions, situations. The objective is unequivocal: the work can only continue working potently, fully (integrally and with integrity), if its nervures are active. Conventions need to be permanently suspended so that we can see, during such a suspension, how the elements rearticulate and, when they fall to the ground, which constellations are formed. The question is: what new desires will the work desire to perform under new circumstances?

Do street encounters fail? Can things go wrong? Would the flaw be incorporated and included in performance?

I don’t associate encounter and failure. The encounter can be potent or weak, good or bad, but failing, as in “not working as planned”, I can’t see how. That’s because I don’t plan anything but a meeting. Things work and unwork all the time, currents can be violent, but I am rooted in the determination of performing the action that, I think, needs to be realized, must be realized. The other day I even called a series “Things That Must be Done Series (TTMBDS)”. The conceptual, aesthetic and political basis is very solid and, whatever happens, whatever happening happens, it will be the work of the moment, and it will generate material for new reflections, for future works. I went for a glass of water. I’m already on the plane. I tell you that if there is any inescapable violence, I will be stopped. However, such thing never happened. All violence has been circumvented. No, not circumvented — elaborated on and transformed.

How are your performances born? Is there any difference between performances and actions?

I’ve preferred to call what I do actions – it seems simpler, more direct, more consistent with the practice. You see, Camillo, I understand the work as a practice, a set of practices. Since I am in direct dialogue with the history and theory of performance, I call myself a performance artist. I greatly admire the work of many performers and consider performance art as a major component of the contemporary world, a way of opening, touching and rearranging as I said before, a way of life and of living. Performer Guillermo Gómez-Peña wrote the following: “Los artistas de performance somos un constante recordatorio para la sociedad de las posibilidades de otros comportamientos artísticos, políticos, sexuales y espirituales; y esto, debo decirlo con vehemencia, es una función extremadamente importante. … [porque] ayuda a otros a reconectarse con las zonas prohibidas de su psique y de sus cuerpos, y a reconocer las posibilidades de sus propias libertades. En este sentido, el arte del performance puede ser tan útil como la medicina, o la ingeniería; y los artistas de performance son tan necesarios como las enfermeras, los maestros de escuela, los sacerdotes, o los taxistas. La mayor parte del tiempo ni siquiera nosotros mismos somos conscientes de estas funciones”. [“We, performance artists, are constantly reminding society about the possibility of other artistic, political, sexual and spiritual behaviors; and that, I must emphasize, is a very important function […] [because] it helps others to reconnect with the prohibited zones of their psyches and their bodies, and to recognize the possibilities of their own freedom. In this sense, the art of performance can be as useful as medicine or engineering; and performance artists are just as needed as nurses, teachers, priests or taxi drivers. Most of the time, we, artists, are not even aware of these functions”.] I listen to and learn from, Gomez-Peña. I think it is a matter of, through aesthetics, expanding political imagination and potentializing the body’s performativity as a way of activating relationships, making cities, generating life.

My performances are born of bodily, social and spiritual needs. The needs grow in thought, planning, and dreams, and, when the time comes, they become action in the public space. A space that is made public because bodies act politically and performatively there. The public dimension of space is not pre-given, cannot be taken for granted, it must be practiced. And the matter of dreams, whatever it is, is fundamental here. Then, once performed, an action always calls another action (or dreams of another action). Therefore, in general, I work with series (one action is never enough). And series succeed in series (one series is never enough). And I’m the one who doesn’t stop being born through their birth.

One thing that stands out is the combination of an initial plan, a poetic protocol, a set of procedures, and the metamorphosis of intent in drift through contact with people. In the case of blind walks, it reaches the limit of you putting yourself at risk. Intent and dedication combine and mix radically. Tell me a little about it.

Well, the performative program is like a verse — that’s how I’m understanding this writing right now. An action-verse. But, what’s a verse… we would need lots of verses to think about it. And yes, Camillo, “intent and dedication combine and mix radically”. There is, in fact, a determination that supports the act; there is the act of giving yourself entirely to the act. “Radically”, you say. Yes, I make radical pacts. Experimentation and determination are my norths. If I believe in anything in this increasingly fascist world, it is in the importance of experimentation (both poetic and political). And for me, experimentation and care (with myself, with others, with the environment) walk hand in hand. I can tell you that I am not interested in putting my life at risk because that would interrupt life and work (it wouldn’t make sense in my poetic and political view). I ask for help on the street and many help. I make it clear that I need support and many offer support. Giving, offering, asking and receiving are recurring actions in the blind walks.

Now, back to the status of works-performances and images. I believe that there are actions in which photography gains a certain autonomy, I think of the composition of the bricks in the CMAHO or “No meio da noite tinha um arco-íris”. They gain poetic strength beyond being a record of performance. Is that intentional? Do you realize it, or is it irrelevant?

The other day I was a guest speaker at the Oficina Experimental de Poesia [Experimental Poetry Workshop] in Rio de Janeiro (lecture performances, as I said before, are also modes of action for me). Then, a member of the audience, a very beautiful man, a very sensitive person, said: “Your work is becoming painting. Do you realize that?” My eyes filled with tears. He saw it like that, he saw it. He tied everything up. Or yet, he opened things up in such a way. Painting, performance, photography; the actions, the eye, the mouth, the word. That line reached my heart like an arrow, and I didn’t answer anything. We stood there, quietly, thinking and feeling. Luckily, I have two hearts, and we went on. Over the last few years, I’ve been developing another heart to be able to handle it all. Listen, now I’m going to get some sleep because I’m really tired. It’s tight in this airplane seat, but I’ll work it out. Big kiss, Camillo. See you soon, Eleonora.

About the Author

Luiz Camillo Osorio is the Curator of PIPA Institute, PIPA’s founder and Board Member. He is a Professor and current Director of the Philosophy Department at PUC-Rio. Camillo was the Curator of MAM-Rio between 2009 and 2015. To read more exclusive texts written by Camillo, click here.



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