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Portikus presents CAPACETE

Portikus presents CAPACETE open September 22–October 20, 2013. With Rogério Duarte, Arto Lindsay, Siri, Manuel Raeder, Daniela Castro, Alexandre Vogler, DJ Lonely, Baba Electronica, Amilcar Packer and Helmut Batista.

CAPACETE at Portikus is organized by Helmut Batista, the founder of the research-based residency program CAPACETE Entertainments, which is based in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The exhibition brings together multiple voices from its rich sixteen-year-long activity. Expanding on CAPACETE’s involvement in the field of cultural production in Brazil, the exhibition at Portikus features new work that will reflect on this unique history while also creating a multi-layered commentary on the current situation in Brazil. The project aims at “cannibalizing” Brazil’s very own culture—drawing on aspects as well as clichés of Anthropophagia and Tropicalismo, both deeply rooted in Brazilian cultural discourse—and thus raises questions around paradoxical aspects of the country’s economical and political status quo today.

CAPACETE was recently forced to discontinue part of its activities due to insufficient local financial support. Seeing that the city of Frankfurt is hosting Brazil as its guest of honor at this year’s Book Fair, Portikus invited Helmut Batista and handed over the role of host back to a Brazilian cultural producer. This allows CAPACETE to cannibalize cultural capital that emerges from a transnational hyper-event, and inscribe itself in the existing structure at Portikus.

On the occasion of the exhibition, Helmut Batista and artist Amilcar Packer produced a new film titled Ecstatic. The film was shot from a helicopter circling a Brazilian landmark, the recently restored monumental statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. As a counterpart, Alexandre Vogler’s Gira is installed in the main exhibition space. Using branches of the medicinal herb ruta graveolens mounted on large, rotating devices, he evokes ancestral and spiritual traditions from Brazil. The intense scent of the herb is further enhanced by Vogler’s performance Fumacê, which is a mobile censer that smokes out its surroundings to cast out any evil spirits. The artist will mount his Fumacê on a bicycle and exorcise Portikus and the rest of the city. Two concerts complement the performative aspect of the show: one by the artist Arto Lindsay and the other by the multi-instrumentalist Siri. Both performances function as one-off soundtracks to Batista and Packer’s film, which is screened as a backdrop to the stage. Another piece in the exhibition is a newly commissioned text by the writer and curator Daniela Castro in which she draws on notions of Anthropophagia to create a dystopian scenario for Brazil.

The upstairs gallery is dedicated to a comprehensive presentation of the work of Brazilian designer, poet, musician, artist, and author Rogério Duarte. Duarte is a pivotal figure in the artistic movement known as Tropicália, which has its origins in the late 1960s. His huge influence on the imagery and visual language of this movement is reflected in his long-term collaborations with contemporaries such as Gilberto Gil, Glauber Rocha, Hélio Oiticica, and Caetano Veloso. A selection of his work, including posters, record covers, books, and other objects will be presented alongside his new monographic publication Marginália 1. The book was developed by the designer Manuel Raeder and the artist Mariana Castillo Deball over a period of four years. It is the first in-depth survey of Duarte’s practice, and is published by BOM DIA BOA TARDE BOA NOITE and Portikus on the occasion of this exhibition.

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