Galleries and Ensaio Tambores de Olokun

I had a busy and inspiring day taking in galleries and live music.  I started the day looking for galleries that were open on Sundays and held work by Hélio Oiticica or other tropicalia related artists. I headed out to MAM, in the center of Rio.  On arrival there were loads of people just hanging out underneath the building in the shade, what looked like a meeting or creatve workshop was going on and children and families using the building as a playground, with people climbing the sides of it and taking photos.  The top floor of the gallery with their general collection was closed for the week so I wasn’t to see any work by Helio Oiticica but there were two shows on sculptural and painting work by José Bechara  and the PIP prize for Brazilian artists. I really loved the work of  Barbara Wagner, this year’s PIP prize winner.  Her work is colourful and plays with pop aesthetic, with people, bodies and musical subcultures as her subject matter.   The work in this exhibition was made with carnival dancers, I was enamored by  it partially due to the skill and charisma of the dancers she worked with but also the colours.  She also created lenticular photographs of the same dancers.

After this I caught a bus to the ferry which goes to Niterói where the MAC is.  I was quite excited to get the ferry but unfortunately you could only ride inside the boat so I didn’t get the full experience I had hoped for but it was still good to go across the water.   I walked about 20 minutes to MAC. The MAC building is impressive, designed by Oscar Niemeyer and completed in 1996, it reminded me of a futuristic or alien lighthouse.  the exhibition featuring a retrospective of work by Regina Vater, a Brazilian artist who works his had a really big range of work she designed she was designed a cover for the first tropicalia couple was used the gallery also featured work by two younger artists Rafael Alonso who created super colourful optical digital prints and Bruno Faria who remade Vater’s unused album design for “Tropicalia ou Panis et cirences” and created an installation featuring Tropicalia album covers.   Although I didn’t get to see any work by Hélio Oiticica, I did get to see Brazilian art associated with the tropicalia movement.  Fairly exhausted, I got a cab home.

After a quick meal and rest, I went to see a rehearsal for Tambores de Olokun, a carnival group with Eduarda from Novas Frequençias.  This was a totally amazing experience,  apparently from now until carnival bands will be rehearsing every week. A few things really stood out to me I really liked how there was no strict division between the audience and bands everyone was interspersed with each other.   You might be standing next to an audience member and then also next to someone playing an instrument.  It was also really exciting that everybody wanted to get involved.  With people dancing and trying to follow the group’s dance moves.  I feel like this audience response is a positive sign for my upcoming performance.  It seems like audiences are really open to getting involved in the performance.   It’s given me a lot of ideas and thoughts about how to get people involved in the performance.

Here is a video from the rehearsal  (i am not able to embed this video here so follow the link)



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