The Tropicalia Effect
Activity

The Tropicalia Effect

Concert series

"Tropicalismo" refers to the contextualisation of an aesthetic tradition at a particular time and place: the late sixties in Brazil, where the plastic arts meet bossa nova, samba and anarchism, experimental theatre and rock'n'roll. Not really an attempt at rupture, Tropicalismo was more like a reinvention of popular memory.

Critic Pedro Alexandre Sánches called it «the beautiful decadence of samba.» But Tropicália went beyond the music – above all, it was a gesture of freedom, an act of cultural cannibalism inspired by the poet Oswaldo de Andrade's 1928 Cannibal Manifesto and fuelled by tradition and the avant-garde in equal parts.

The likes of Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Maria Bethania, Gal Costa, Tom Zé, Os Mutantes and Rogério Duprat, among others, brought elements like samba, bossa nova, rock and roll and experimental music together on a single plane. Tropicalismo emerged during the dictatorship of the military junta responsible for the coup, which wielded power in Brazil between 1964 and 1985. In this context, cinema (Glauber Rocha, Nelson Pereira Dos Santos and Joaquim Pedro de Andrade), theatre ( Zé Celso Martinez Correa) and the plastic arts (Hélio Oiticica's 1967 installation Tropicália gave the movement its name) aligned themselves with music for the purpose of reinventing the traditional signs of popular culture within a cosmopolitan modernity that in itself already represented direct opposition to the regime.

Tropicália barely lasted a year, between 1967 and 1968, and culminated in the release of the manifesto recording Tropicália ou Panis et Circensis (Philips, 1968), a compilation record featuring Gil, Veloso, Costa, Nara Léao and Os Mutantes under the baton of Duprat. The brutal repression of the movement, which led to the jailing and subsequent exile of Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso and the forced internment in psychiatric hospitals of some of their contemporaries considered «subversive» and «mentally unstable», such as the poet and songwriter Torquato Neto, gave way to a more light-weight, strictly formal version of Tropicalismo. This in turn later gave rise to MPB, Música Popular Brasileira. Nevertheless, during those months when it emerged, developed and died, Tropicália laid the foundations for a new way of understanding popular music that was daring and fun, avant-garde and also hedonist - a model that would be imitated repeatedly all over the world.

A warm, pleasant revolution in which people thought, danced and celebrated.

Coordinators: Oriol Rossell & David Albet

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Concert series

“Tropicalismo” refers to the contextualisation of an aesthetic tradition at a particular time and place: the late sixties in Brazil, where the plastic arts meet bossa nova, samba and anarchism, experimental theatre and rock’n’roll. Not really an attempt at rupture, Tropicalismo was more like a reinvention of popular memory.

Critic Pedro Alexandre Sánches called it «the beautiful decadence of samba.» But Tropicália went beyond the music – above all, it was a gesture of freedom, an act of cultural cannibalism inspired by the poet Oswaldo de Andrade’s 1928 Cannibal Manifesto and fuelled by tradition and the avant-garde in equal parts.

The likes of Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Maria Bethania, Gal Costa, Tom Zé, Os Mutantes and Rogério Duprat, among others, brought elements like samba, bossa nova, rock and roll and experimental music together on a single plane. Tropicalismo emerged during the dictatorship of the military junta responsible for the coup, which wielded power in Brazil between 1964 and 1985. In this context, cinema (Glauber Rocha, Nelson Pereira Dos Santos and Joaquim Pedro de Andrade), theatre ( Zé Celso Martinez Correa) and the plastic arts (Hélio Oiticica’s 1967 installation Tropicália gave the movement its name) aligned themselves with music for the purpose of reinventing the traditional signs of popular culture within a cosmopolitan modernity that in itself already represented direct opposition to the regime.

Tropicália barely lasted a year, between 1967 and 1968, and culminated in the release of the manifesto recording Tropicália ou Panis et Circensis (Philips, 1968), a compilation record featuring Gil, Veloso, Costa, Nara Léao and Os Mutantes under the baton of Duprat. The brutal repression of the movement, which led to the jailing and subsequent exile of Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso and the forced internment in psychiatric hospitals of some of their contemporaries considered «subversive» and «mentally unstable», such as the poet and songwriter Torquato Neto, gave way to a more light-weight, strictly formal version of Tropicalismo. This in turn later gave rise to MPB, Música Popular Brasileira. Nevertheless, during those months when it emerged, developed and died, Tropicália laid the foundations for a new way of understanding popular music that was daring and fun, avant-garde and also hedonist – a model that would be imitated repeatedly all over the world.

A warm, pleasant revolution in which people thought, danced and celebrated.

Coordinators: Oriol Rossell & David Albet

see more show less
dates
26 February 2009 – 28 May 2009
price
Tickets go on sale at 8.15 pm Admission: 5 eur. Friends of MACBA: free. MACBA Auditorium. Limited seating
title
The Tropicalia Effect
dates
26 February 2009 – 28 May 2009
title
The Tropicalia Effect
price
Tickets go on sale at 8.15 pm Admission: 5 eur. Friends of MACBA: free. MACBA Auditorium. Limited seating
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