Tropicália, penetráveis PN2 «Pureza é um mito», PN3 «Imagético» (Tropicália, Penetrable PN2 “Purity Is a Myth”, PN3 “Imagenetic”)

Hélio Oiticica

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1937 - 1980
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    Wood, fabric, plastic, sand, gravel, rose-ringed parakkets, black and white television and tropical plants
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    Installation consisting of two penetrables (PN2 «Pureza é um mito» [PN2 “Purity Is a Myth"], 1966 and PN3 «Imagético» [PN3 "Imagenetic"], 1966-1967), in a tropical setting with plants, birds in cages made of wood and metal and ten poems
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    Variable dimensions
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In 1967, Hélio Oiticica was a driving force behind the concept of Nova Objetividade Brasileira, in direct opposition to the international supremacy of Optical and Pop Art. That same year, in the exhibition of the same name at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM/RJ), he presented the environmental installation Tropicália, a work that fused together the fundamental ideas of a vital, sensorial concept from the South, centring on the figure of the viewer. Tropicália, Penetráveis PN2 «Pureza é um mito», PN3 «Imagético» (Tropicália, Penetrable PN2, “Purity Is a Myth”, PN3 “Imagenetic”) is a field of experimentation that attempts to create a physical and sensual, rather than visual, closeness to the artwork. It makes references to the Brazilian way of life, the architecture of the favelas and body-perception in the samba communities in which the artist lived. Tropicália should also be seen as a complex, profound and poetic expression of Brazil’s organic dysfunction, created at the peak of the military dictatorship’s repression. The work connects the individual and the collective, putting together a multi-sensorial space built on the concept of appropriation which the artist wished to extend towards (in his own words) “the things in the world that I come across in the street,” and also towards the art institution and the neutrality of the viewer. To quote Oiticica again: “The museum is the world, it is the everyday experience.”

Carmen Fernández Aparicio