paulo bruscky: artist books and films, 1970-2013

From the early urban interventions challenging the role of art within an authoritarian military government, to highly experimental works using medical, communication and reproduction technologies, Paulo Bruscky occupies a formidable place in Brazilian art history.  Known for his active involvement in the postal art movement (arte correio) and for the dynamic relationships he forged with international artists including Fluxus and Gutai artists working in New York, Europe and Japan, Bruscky was an artist-provcateur who used art as a means to fiercely challenge the status quo.

The exhibition focuses on his body of artist books and super 8 films which forms a backbone to his rich and prolific career spanning over four decades. From his earliest books in 1970s documenting performances on the streets of Recife including critical works like Arte cemiterial (1971) and O que é arte? Para que serve? (1978) to more poetic experiments on the possibilities of the book format, the exhibition provides a rare opportunity to read Bruscky’s practice and his interest in the intersection of art, life and communication. More than mere records of past actions, the books and films operate as foils for the activation of his ideas and evidence of the individual passion and will to connect critically, poetically and artistically with the realities of the urban landscape and contemporary moment.

Pernambuco—the northeastern state known for its sugarcane industry during the colonial era—where the artist was born and remained throughout his career is an important backdrop to Bruscky’s work, becoming a rich terrain that allowed the artist to develop a truly independent voice unfettered by more mainstream developments in Sao Paulo and Rio. This exhibition will feature approximately 100 artist books and over 20 films presented together in depth for the very first time. Together, the books and films in the exhibition, supplemented by related works, will provide unparalleled insight into Bruscky's singular oeuvre.