Brazilian Activism of the 60s

written by Željko Kipke


Rio de Janeiro, like other world metropolises, saw significant strategic changes in art in the 1960s. These brought a different, less formal activism, oriented towards social groups and living individuals rather than artistic tools used by particular authors. It was the age of ‘poetic terrorism’, as formulated by Artur Barrio, one of the participants in the exhibition called ‘Tropicália: The 60s in Brazil’,* in the Kunsthalle in Vienna. It was a period of a general anarchistic climate in art, when it was more important to participate, to be in the focus of events, on the streets and concerts, than to produce objects that would be put in museums to reflect the status quo and to deepen the gap between the viewer and the exhibit.