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Art does nat wish tobe eternal It historical shel wil ill up ‘museums, while its living meaning {goes on shifting from work to work Ferreira Gullar 4 What a Body Can Do A printer's mock-up shows two photolithographic reproductions aligned hori zontally on a page (fig. 41). Black and white, grainy, their edges have the traces of blotter or emulsifying mask. On the left, a man stands barefoot on a street, face tured towards the camera lens, feet pointed in the opposite direction. His right armis outstretched, drawing with ita piece of fabric that hangs from a layered {garment slung around his neck. The image is captioned “Miro of Mangueira Dances with CAPE 1 parangolé (1964)." On the right, another mam is pictured from above, hair bleeding into dark shadows that fill the upper portion ofthe frame. His body is obscured by a series of interlocking fabric strips draped across his left shoulder. The caption reads "Eduardo Ribeito unfolds CAPE 2 parangolé (1965)." Dancing and unfolding—the actions depicted in the photographs~are key modes. of the Parangolé, a new order of art object invented by Hélio iticica in 1964. In dancing, the body animates the Parangol,vvifying its multicolored layers and ‘modifying its form in space and time. In unfolding, the Parangolé extends and transfigures the body, allowing it to be newly explored. Pictured on the left, Pd Parangolé Capa 1 (Pd Parangolé Cape 1) (1964) can be worn in many ways. Its layers of painted canvas, gauze, netting, and plastic can hhang vertically, compressed through the downwards pull of gravity, each stratum nestled closely against the next. Its stiff exterior shells can also be sprung open to reveal hidden torsions and pliable fabric leaves. Extended, rotated, manipulated, ‘and transformed, the cape is a malleable architecture and also a skin. PS Paran ‘g0lé Capa 2 (PS Parangalé Cape 2) (1964-65), pictured on the right, has a different ‘anatomy, its structure formed not aut of layers but of loops. This cape is a matter of circuits. A central broad spine supports thinner bands that that fold around itin “Mébius strips. Appendages and pockets replace sheet-like leaves: a pouch of pink pigment encased in a plastic sack, a newspaper-lined sleeve, a pair of red under- ‘wear stitched to an outer seam. Enfolded within these capes, the wearer’ body Constitutes another kind of materiality a corpus to be constructed anew. (On August 12, 1965, Oiticica inaugurated the Parangolé at the opening of the exhibition Opinio 65 (Opinion 65) at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Fig. 41 Hl Otien, mack up for pamphlet abe distributed st nauguration ofthe Paran ‘ol athe Museu de Arte Mad fora do Rio enero, August 12,1968. Courtesy of Projeto Helio Ones, Janeiro (MAM-R)}, As part of this public introduction, Oiticca distributed @ pamphlet containing the images described above and two texts pertaining to the new order of work: In the first, "Bases Fundamentals Para uma Definic&o do ‘Parangolé™ (Fundamental Bases for the Definition of a Parangolé), he out lined his overarching conceptual framework: the discovery of what | call Paran- {0lé defines a specific position in the theoretical development of my entire ‘experience of colar-structure in space."® He went on to describe the Parangolé’ relation to ‘popular constructive primitivism”: the implicit "Parangolé character” of favela architecture, carnival festivals, and the improvised shacks of popular fairs. Such phenomena provided a specific spatial constitution and address of the participant's body—-what Oiticica called a “constructive nucleus.” The Paran- {g0lé was not an appropriation of these objects and environments but a conver- ‘gence between them and the structures of time, space, and color explored in his previous works. In the second text, “Anotagdes Sobre o Parangolé” (Annota- tions on the Parangole), Oiticica detailed the order's three categories—banners, capes, and tents—concentrating on the participatory experience of the cape and what he called its “wearing-watching cycle" In wearing, the participant acts as a “structural nucleus” or “motor” of the work, animating its form through movement. An “inter-corporeal space [is] created upon the work’s unfolding, he wrote, effecting a “metamorphosis” of the participant and the work of art. ‘Watching another participant transformed by a cape completes and closes the cycle, as viewers recognize their own transmutation externalized in the image of the other. The actions depicted in the photographs correspond to these modes: Eduardo turns inwards in the act of wearing, absorbed in the environment the ‘cape creates immediately around and with his body; Miro turns outwards in the relational address of watching, soliciting the viewer as a fellow participant In the process of reinvention and social exchange. In the watching-wearing cycle, the asymmetrical structure of identification that defines 633 Bolide Caixa 18 “Homenagem a Cara de Cavalo'—what Oiticica described as the ‘objectification’ of marginality—is cast as a reversible process Chapter Four in which participants mirror but also differentiate themselves from others.* ‘What a Body Can Do Because the phases are codependent, successive, and reduplicative, reciprocity neither dissolves nor reifies distinctions between self and other. On the contrary, difference defamiliarizes identity: in watching, you recognize that you too are seen. Consequently the self emerges only as it becomes other to itself Ths is why photographs of participants wearing Parangolés such as those of Miro and Eduardo can merely schematize the order's behavioral circuit. The images arrest the motion that fuels the folding and unfolding of body-and-work as well as the ‘temporality of intersubjective transformation. Moreover, because we occupy a distinct, unmarked position outside of the photograph, the necessary reciprocity of otherness breaks down. It can only be proposed from within the bounds of the image, where the fluidity of difference can also be mistaken for its opposite identitarian consolidation as a series of enduring bodily signs. The documents Oiticica released to introduce the Parangolé thus established the possibilty of reciprocal self-athering at the core ofthe order. What they could not do, however, ‘was ensure that this fundamental reversibility would be acknowledged or even perceived, ‘The 1965 inauguration of the Parangolé plays a pivotal and symbolic role within the internal trajectory of Oiticica’s work and later reception.® The mutual incor poration ofthe participant and work and the formulation of the body as a funda- ‘mentally plastic, transformable entity have clear ots in Oiticica’s chromatic Investigations and his exploration ofthe participant's touch. But these develop- ‘ments were equally indebted to the artist's entry into the world of Mangueira, ‘hillside favela far removed from his middle-class home. Oiticica began to frequent Mangueira in early 1964” There he became an official member of the samba school Estagdo Primeira da Mangueira, one of the most traitional of Rio's carival arganizations, and, beginning in 1965, took part as a passista {principal dancer) in the city’s annual carnival desfile (parade or procession) (fig. 4.2), The Parangolé is formally and conceptually unthinkable without Oiticica’s initiation into this social world of dance. Through his experiences in Mangueira, Oiticica had his first sexual encounters, almost certainly with men.® He also came to link the marginal position of the artist withthe social mar-