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“Gimme shelter: sociality in the nest,” Lecture by Dr. André Lepecki

04/26/2018 @ 7:30 pm

On July 21st, 1973, at exactly 11.15pm, the Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica, then living in New York City, typed the following sequence of letters at the top of a white sheet of paper: M   U   N   D   O  –  A   B   R   I   G   O (world-shelter). Calling it a “proposition for experimentality,” Oiticica thought of world-shelter as a way to solve the conflict between subject and object, between artist, audience and oeuvre. The solution offered by world-shelter required a new function for art, which would no longer be interested in creating and exhibiting works, but rather in promoting modes of living that mattered non-conditioned and intimate sociality. Paradoxically, in this experiment, living together implied the construction of inhabitable isolated cells, which Oiticica called “Ninhos” (Nests). In my talk, I will address the particular sociality implied in Oiticica’s Nests. I will do so by taking into account two other referents: The Rolling Stones’ 1969 song “Gimme Shelter” (which Oiticica particularly loved); and the 1977 seminar by Roland Barthes on “How to live together” (whose emphasis on nests and cells are uncannily similar to Oiticica’s).  In our contemporary times of compulsive and policed neoliberal gregariousness, Oiticica’s experiments on life in the nest seem as urgent as ever.


7:30 pm
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Chazen Museum of Art
750 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706 United States
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