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Room 104.05 Hélio Oiticica. Tropicália, 1967

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Countries of the South emerged in a number of different ways in the 1960s. Brazil, under military dictatorship since the coup in 1964, witnessed major social and student movements attacking new kinds of economic and cultural colonization and supporting a homegrown popular culture, with roots in that specific tropical territory, as opposed to connections with the interests of the countries of the North. Latin American art at the time was dominated by the neo-concrete, whose coldness and constructivist style seemed to exist in a bubble of unreality within the social agitation gripping the continent. Against this background, Tropicália (1967) by Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980) exemplified the attempts to bring a new Latin America to the fore through boundless vitality, appeals to all the senses and attempts to get the spectator actively involved.