Universidad Nacional de Rosario-Argentina. Research and innovation article. Narratives of Brazilian Modernism. In this way , the political profile of cultural anthropophagy in Brazil created visual or literary rhetorical strategies to undo colonialist mechanisms of domination.
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Universidad Nacional de Rosario-Argentina. Research and innovation article. Narratives of Brazilian Modernism. In this way , the political profile of cultural anthropophagy in Brazil created visual or literary rhetorical strategies to undo colonialist mechanisms of domination. This article attempts to read the trajectory of Tarsila, taking the painting Anthropophagy , from , as its epicenter , a work that operated as a decolonizing challenge to the dominant eurocentric aesthetics based on Western iconography.
In this image the figures blend into their own environment, imbued in a visual gigantism that can seem threatening. The surrounding jungle recreated a version of tropicalism as a space of power or synergy set in a local atmosphere, which distanced itself from preconcieved ways of symbolizing the Brazilian landscape, and reconstructed a vigorous visuality that confronted the stereotyped invention of the American landscape.
Key words: Tarsila do Amaral, visual, modernism , anthropophagy , decolonization. Relatos da modernidade brasileira. The utopia within the artistic vanguards was installed in the complexity of language and the social relations that bring it to life . In this framework, Brazilian modernism was born, a cultural emergence that promoted a substantial change in the intellectual and artistic environment, and that would deserve to be assessed with new eyes.
In the pictorial plane , Tarsila do Amaral would be the protagonist of an artistic development that put her at the center of the anthropophagic movement, as from an energic and solid image. In particular, we will highlight those manifestations related to anthropophagy, seeking to expand the historical and social connotations of the concept, also closely related with cannibalism.
For this reason, the painting Antropofagia Anthropophagy by Tarsila can be read as an image that proposed a starting point for the decolonization of an occidental and pro-European aesthetic, fostering a new visual perspective focused on issues and problems of historical Brazil.
Modernists and anthropophagi. The period of greater exacerbation for the vanguardist process in Latin America extended approximately from to Despite the fact that it only lasted 4 days , its after effects have had a great impact. In this aspect, writers, artists and musicians shared the same objective, which was to break away from an obsolete past.
On the 15th day of that same month, Menotti Del Picchia delivered his conference using expressions of a futuristic root, such as the "speed of the modern world," glorified and acclaimed, in detriment of the "tuberculous lyrical woman," represented by Romanticism . He cited Mars, Zeus, Menelaus, Troy and the discobolus of Sparta, leveling Brazilian modernists and those who expected "to see the sun behind the Parthenon in ruins .
Different from the European vanguard, in Brazil, there was not tabula rasa with the historical past. Mario as well as Oswald de Andrade promoted a literary break in relation to the archaisms from the Parnasian fashion of which sought inspirational themes in exoticisms or pagan mythologies , but settling the roots, the narrations and the legends from the native culture prior to the colony. In response to the modernization processes that Brazil went through in the 20s, the Week had broad consequences in the cultural plane, due to the aesthetic rupture it brought about, defying colonial heritage and setting the precedents for the Manifiesto Pau Brasil and the anthropophagic movement.
The meetings in Tarsilas's workshop were frequent, where, apart from the permanent exchange of ideas on the local cultural climate and the hopes for renovation, readings and music were shared .
Visual poetry, rupture and synthesis. She started her studies in sculpture with Mantovani and Zadig and, later, her painting studies with Pedro Alexandrino and Fischer Elpons.
Later on, she continued her studies in the Julian Academy in Paris, a city to which she travelled in In , she painted A Negra Figure 1 , a magnificent canvas that set a precedent for her anthropophagic phase. And, on the other hand, she transformed the 19th century canon of feminine representation, which was in accordance with a neoclassic, romantic vision, with measures and parameters established by the academy  and incorporated a black woman who, according to positivist and colonialist versions, was associated with poverty and slavery.
During , Tarsila made two trips, one to Rio de Janeiro and the other to Minas Gerais together with Oswald and Mario de Andrade, Blaise Cendrars , and other intellectuals, in search for the Brazilian interior, its tradition and its roots. This scenario full of colors was the basis of a body of paintings that belong to her Pau Brazil period. In Tarsila's canvases, vegetation transformed into organic stylizations, some round, where the planes were constructed from superstitions and size gradations.
Morro da favela, of , exhibited a careful pictorial treatment with cacti and plants, in a geometrical structure of colorful houses, caipiras , and hues of pink, cerulean blues, ochres, and oranges. Tarsila reinterpreted the peripheral environment and her visual potential in Carnaval em Madureira after having walked the Brazilian suburb in the area of Madureira , where the scolas do samba and Imperio Serrano wer e.
During those celebrations "she recorded, in less than 20 sketches, people from the street, details of their garments and ornaments from the carnival . The choice of the landscape as a theme responded to a symbolic choice, a synthesis of the national imaginary, where the subject of the village is re-signified in its daily chores.
Figure 1. Tarsila do Amaral. A Negra , oil on canvas, O Mamoeiro , oil on canvas , Tarsila explored the purity of the natural shapes of Brazil, unspoiled by the vertiginous European civilization. Despite her Parisian training, her paintings are distanced from the French urban topic, such as in the train station with electric posts, which included designs of tress and palm trees. The full forms ranged between greens and pinks, with blue flowers of well- shaped petals that anticipated her later pictorial treatments.
A reproduction of the painting appeared in the first issue of the Revista de Antropofagia Anthropophagic magazine , where Oswald founded the movement that would radically change modernist literature. Figure 3. Tarsila do Amaral,. In relation to cannibalism and anthropophagy, although both terms refer to the act of eating human flesh, they have significant differences.
Cannibalism emphasizes a destructive action, the event of castigating the body of the victim or the enemy, while anthropophagy accentuates the processes of swallowing, assimilating and absorbing. In this sense, the elements that connote cannibalism in visual formulations underline the rupture, violence, and grotesque deformation.
From that platform, Tarsila projected herself in an artistic environment that had already been shaken by the proposals of the Modern Art Week of The technique applied and the language used marked a change with respect to the Pau Brasil phase. This process revealed a sign of cultural anthropophagy, which preceded the literary formulation of Oswald de Andrade.
The transformation in the scale of size with respect to the landscape dislocated the eye in a suspended space. The white oval a risky plastic recourse handled with dexterity was supported by a magenta object which, contorted, resembled a reptile holding on to a red spike that emerges from the soil. Figure 5. Sol poente , oil on canvas , Anthropophagy and aesthetic decolonization. In , Tarsila made some sketches Figure 7 that she used in Antropofagia Figure 8.
The cut of the protagonists in first plane was accentuated by the choice of colors. The use of fleshy tones with shades of orange unified the couple that, from the expressive deformations in the relation of the size of their heads, bodies, legs and feet, recreated a dynamism of curves and counter curves with a background of deep greens.
The sun ambiguously simulated a slice of orange or lemon, a star in the sky. The plain, serene and almost imperceptible fracture was, at the same time, exulting and sensitive, in the midst of a geometric drawing which evoked ghostly areas linked to the anthropophagic rite.
Actually, cultural anthropophagy paved the way for a radicalized vanguardism in which the break from artistic pre-established canons a quest started by the modernists in the Week in and the polemic response revolving around an exotic representation of Brazil coincided.
Let us remember that this fact had negative connotations in the time of the conquest because the habits of the anthropophagic groups according to the narrations of travelers were appalling under the eyes of the Europeans, a perception that would be modified after the Freudian theories of instinct and the unconscious . Figure 7. Drawing, In this case, Tarsila underlined the anthropophagic notion re-signifying the cannibalistic act, accentuating the processing and symbolic absorption as a factor of resistance to European hegemony, which it finally swallowed in a reaffirmation of the constant functions of life and death.
These natives were characterized by their intelligence and a constant inclination for war, which had a fundamental role for them, as it was considered a sacred attitude, reserved just for some. The bravery and the warlike attitude of the chief were deduced by the number of enemies he killed, who were afterwards eaten by the community in a ritual ceremony. Said representations have promoted a partial and despotic construct, functional to the civilizing project and, therefore, arguable that, in its way, is confronted by the pictorial anthropophagy of Tarsila.
At the same time, in certain anthropophagic rites their deities were fed with hearts, constituting an element of exchange between men and gods. In other cases, there existed a process of symbolic synthesis, as was the case of cannibalistic dancing in the Kwakiutl, in which cannibal desire was subject to a power that was integrated to the personality of the individual. Later on, the appropriation of European vanguards emerged, with respect to these material cultures, exemplified in surrealism and its search for irrational structures seen under the lens of exoticism.
The aboriginal was described as a predatory cannibal, when many times their rituals implied an allegoric and not real anthropophagy. Decontextualized appropriation, described by Root, as well as the virulent view about the native is reconstructed in all the anthropophagic proposals of Tarsila. In the painting Antropofagia , the tridimensionality of spherical echoes of the human bodies in the vegetable volumes proposed a game of profiles where physical nudity was integrated with the tropical environment.
In the colonial centuries, tropicalims in the Brazilian landscape was represented in an aseptic way. The Dutch painter Frans Post, in the 17th century, translated real climates, of voluptuousness and exuberance, into quiet and distant landscapes, perhaps as atemporal fictions.
These biased visual legends made the sustantivity of American geography plain, like postcards that cooled a disruptive idea of tropicalism. The work of Tarsila overcame the representation of alterity from the Occidental idea in which paradise-like geography was leveled with unrestrained sexuality and from the discrepancy, she proposed new distinctive icons of national identity.
It was a time of the pictorial phase that opened questions about the genuine nature of Brazilian culture and that viewed the anthropophagic exercise as an instrument of anti-hierarchy or as a promoter of an ethnic and poetic valuation, impossible to dissociate from the writing of Oswald and the figurative interpretations of the artist herself.
When the colonizing discourse attempted to minimize the differences, and neutralize alterities with the objective of carrying out a task of whitening, not only politically speaking but also eminently in physical and racial elements, cultural anthropophagy was the answer to hegemonic tactics. Overcoming the fixed positions, Antropofagia dissolved the notions of time and occidental space, a reminder of the initial time of the Matriarcado de Pindorama , anticipated by the premises of the anthropologist Bachofen, the Tierra de Palmeras , the non-colonized territory.
The preponderance of the racial way of thinking was articulated with the colonialism of knowledge. The modernity of the 20s in Brazil appealed to areas of primitivism as an event that was connected with a native past, a past mobilized from aesthetic codes. The notion of anthropophagic primitivism as a vanguardist refunctionalization of an indigenous ritual matrix  is present in the work of Tarsila.
It can be observed in the configuration of the bodies, in the puzzling vegetation that broke from the mimetic nature in the art and the pictorial carnality, which reinforced the cultural difference. The primitive sign exacerbated the indigenous virtues, proposing a change in the conceptual order and in the plastic approach, creating a peculiar image framed in the Brazilian context.
The range of tools used by the artist incorporated vanguard resources and made visible the confluence of modernization processes and the local landscape. From a different angle, Antropofagia eroded the bases of the classical visual codes already instituted in order to disembark in the peculiarity of indigenous Brazil. Tarsila's production stimulated Oswaldian literature and its derivatives towards anthropophagy. She fostered aesthetic decolonization and the dislocation of classical schemes of power, present in a 19th century society, which condemned the morality associated with the life and the customs of the aboriginal or the black people.
Her work promoted debates on local culture, giving rise to a proteic sense of identity in a social community with substantial indexes of ethnic mixes. Antropofagia summarized an almost tautological mark, that is, the very same process of national social formation, the absorption of the other and of the others from an exchange which postulated the regional aspect in the mixture.
This anthropophagic modality adopted foreign, chewed on and processed aesthetic components, marking a history characterized by complex mechanisms that took place in Brazil from the European conquest until contemporary times. The decolonizing inflexion of Antropofagia can be seen in the aesthetic affront, which it introduces with respect to a colonial condition, in the visual twist that it brings about as from a concise, concrete, and plastically suggestive drawing.
The audacity in the planes of color and their pronounced level of synthesis make of this painting a disruptive icon, the result of a vanguardist transformation process in Brazil and Latin America. The artist herself admitted in an interview: " Figure 9.
Corpo-rización tupi: Léry y el 'Manifiesto Antropofago'
Cultural cannibalism and technology. Universum [online]. ISSN To the avant-garde, both in industrialized nations and those in Latin America, technological innovations are interpreted ambiguously: as a means of enriching artistic production or as threats to creativity. The situation is even more complex for the Latin American avant-garde, considering that technological modernization is an import from the hegemonic powers of the north. In this paper we examine the cultural, political, and religious implications of the concept of cannibalism on which the optimism of Oswald de Andrade is founded. To him, the cannibalism practiced by the "technicized barbarian" or by the "technicized natural man" signifies the humanization of technology, allows the liberation of its creative potential, still repressed in the industrialized nations themselves, and makes Latin America, and especially Brazil, a power for cultural renewal that is valid for all of humanity.
The essay was translated to English in by Leslie Bary;  this is the most widely used version. The "Manifesto" has often been interpreted as an essay in which the main argument proposes that Brazil's history of "cannibalizing" other cultures is its greatest strength, while playing on the modernists ' primitivist interest in cannibalism as an alleged tribal rite. Cannibalism becomes a way for Brazil to assert itself against European post-colonial cultural domination. The Manifesto's iconic line, written in English in the original, is "Tupi or not Tupi: that is the question. On the other hand, some critics argue that Antropofagia as a movement was too heterogeneous for overarching arguments to be extracted from it, and that often it had little to do with a post-colonial cultural politics.
Nenhum Brasil existe. To this end, the organizers of Anthropophagy Today! We believe that the discourses about identity are essentially useless, because they are inevitably tautological. The present issue sees Oswaldian anthropophagy as a problem. Thus, the measure of their value cannot reside in the monotonous recipe for national identity, i. In other words, it is a question of acknowledging Benedito Nunes' pioneer work.