Att forma tillvaron : Konstruktivism som konstnärligt yrkesarbete hos Geraldo de Barros, Lygia Pape och Lygia Clark

Sammanfattning: This dissertation examines artistic translations of constructivism by the Brazilian artists Geraldo de Barros (1923-1998), Lygia Pape (1927-2004) and Lygia Clark (1920-1988) using the theoretical perspectives of anthropophagy and biopolitics. Previous research has addressed artworks of Brazilian constructivism, a movement which over the last few decades has been canonised as part of a multiple, global modernism. The dissertation shifts the focus to the idea of art-as-labour, which had been central for Soviet constructivists in the 1920s, and the various ways in which this idea reappeared in the practices of these three Brazilian artists. The focal points are 1) de Barros’ work as an administrator and designer at the Catholic working cooperative Unilabor in São Paulo (1954-1964), 2) Pape’s teaching at the Santa Úrsula School of Architecture (1971-1985) during the Brazilian military dictatorship, and 3) Clark’s therapeutic method Estruturação do Self (1976-1988), which she practised at her home clinic and then endeavoured to integrate into the mental health care system in Rio de Janeiro. These examples of artistic labour are viewed as instances, as well as thresholds, of a historical process in which constructivists have sought to embed art within the biopolitical field. Furthermore, the dissertation demonstrates how de Barros, Pape and Clark infused multiple aspects of human existence into their work, such as sensibility, religious beliefs, object relations, socio-political concerns, extrasensory perception and interspecies communication. It is further suggested that when Brazilian artists translated constructivism, they added concerns that have deeply altered this artistic movement and its attempts to transfigure life.