Lisson Gallery

Hélio Oiticica & Neville D’Almeida: Cosmococas

New York, 29 June – 11 August 2023

Hélio Oiticica & Neville D’Almeida: Cosmococas

Lisson Gallery celebrates the 50th anniversary of Hélio Oiticica’s pioneering Cosmococas - Programa in Progress (1973) with a presentation of two works from the seminal series. Developed in collaboration with Brazilian filmmaker Neville D’Almeida, the enveloping installations were an essential facet of what Oiticica termed “quasi-cinemas”. To commemorate the anniversary, the series will be installed throughout the year in cities across the world. 

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1937, Oiticica was a prolific and inquisitive thinker in his short lifetime. Exploring and expanding formal artistic modes and pushing the boundaries of the possibilities of abstraction, sculpture, performance and film, he probed experiential, environmental art and interactive installation. His inherently countercultural practice questioned the entrenched social and institutional framework. Until his untimely death at the age of 42, he continued to invent new modes of art-making, as well as challenge the traditional art-viewing experience.    

Oiticica embedded himself the liberationist, underground cultural scene of New York in the 1970s, where he met and collaborated with Neville D’Almeida to create a series of nine ‘supra–sensorial’ environments which they altogether titled Bloco-Experienciâs in COSMOCOCA – programa in progress (Block-Experiments in COSMOCOCA – program in progress). Numbered CC1 to CC9, the Cosmococas were plans for complex installations that incorporated concurrent slide projections, soundtracks, mattresses, balloons and other various materials, as well as sets of instructions for participants to create future public and private performances. Throughout the series the projected slides feature album covers, newspaper clippings and photographs of celebrities including Yoko Ono, John Cage, Marilyn Monroe, Luis Buñuel, and Jimi Hendrix among others. Images of the pop culture icons are stratified under white pigment drawings the artists made using cocaine as a raw material, illustrating the concept of constructing sensory experiences as well as the possibility of changing one’s perception of time.

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Installation views

Hélio Oiticica & Neville D’Almeida: Cosmococas artwork
Hélio Oiticica & Neville D’Almeida: Cosmococas artwork
Hélio Oiticica & Neville D’Almeida: Cosmococas artwork
Hélio Oiticica & Neville D’Almeida: Cosmococas artwork

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508 West 24th Street
New York

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