*By Yuri Firmeza
Enosiophobia is the scientific term given to those who are afraid of having committed an unforgivable criticism. Part of Brazilian criticism seems to have been plagued, in an epidemic way, by this phobia. And that is why, on the other hand, I am so happy to read the text written by Bitú Cassundé, Clarissa Diniz and Marcelo Campos. If, on the one hand, the text is addressed to another text, written by Aracy Amaral, it is no less true that the text calls, in a political-clinical dimension, to public debate about the “official history” of Brazilian art.
They say that in the carnival of Olinda we are always in the middle. It has no beginning and no end and there are too many “people”. Too many people can generate an epidemic, let's run away from the crowds.
I prefer to think that too much body can generate indomitable joy. There are a lot of people, let's dive into the muvuca.
Part of the Brazilian critics seem not to like Carnival, since the body – and, contiguously, the writing – were produced under the aegis of modern and Eurocentric reason.
The text by Tadeu Chiarelli published in the magazine ArteBrasileirXs (and the “X” is not just a matter of language, as he simplistically points out in the text) begins by describing a saturated environment, full, among other things, of people. Looking for a beginning, it would be worse to look for “orientation”. It seems to me that the effort found to initiate the visit to the exhibition corresponds to the effort, the “suffrence” and the sensitivity to write such a critique.
Pierre Menard, a character by Jorge Luis Borges, copies letter by letter, word by word, line by line… from Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes. Chiarelli's text seems to aim for the same, copying letter by letter, word by word, line by line… from Aracy Amaral's text. It doesn't do it so directly. Would you be affected by the enosiophobic epidemic?
Someone will say: we are experiencing the frenzy of the Northeast in the visual arts, but it is necessary to think about Brazil as a whole. This sentence will probably be uttered by this body described in block 4 of this text. Brazilian historiographical blindness is not an abstraction. It is constituted, rather, by agents who have the support and privileges to insert-exclude characters from their narratives.
Still in the wake of Chiarelli's text, we read that the exhibition is full of works that think about Brazil as a whole. Would this sentence be a kind of mea culpa of sulicide (with the same L) systematically operated on all production of thought outside of what we conventionally call (less and less, and this exposition points to this) axis? Thinking about the Northeast would be too restrictive, let's face it, he says. Indeed, it would. But this exposure-occupation is far from falling into this place of self-absorption. On the contrary, and repeatedly, a good part of the exhibitions in São Paulo, made by people from São Paulo, in supposedly Brazilian institutions, for example, are far from leaving this place.
Perhaps what is missing is that freedom (so claimed and so little practiced as a way of life) to take risks. And what remains, perhaps, is the fear of losing historically constructed privileges, when a supposed threat is num middle (multiple and which is therefore not The Center).
*Yuri Firmeza is an artist and teacher