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<eyebeam><blast> other insertions

- excerpts from the paper "Exorcizing the Exoticated", my contribution
to a roundtable to discuss the exhibition "Continuum, Brazilian Art
1960s-90s" (Paula Terra Cabo curator, University of Essex, Nov. 95;
Portuguese version published in ITEM-3, Ricardo Basbaum, Eduardo Coimbra
editors, Rio 96).

"Nao exotico" (1), just like that - in Portuguese, but symptomatically
lacking the acute accent over the "o" of "exotico" (2) - was the title
chosen by the critic Michael Norris for his review of the work of Jac
Leirner, in 1991. Printed on the cover of ARTFORUM, these words exerted
an irresistible appeal, to those familiar with the language as to those
for whom Portuguese is already a mark of exoticism. For the former, the
critic's [or the editor's, more likely] orthographic lapse resulted in
an involuntary neologism, in the creation of a new verb: "EXOTICAR",
here conjugated as "Nao exotico", of which a symmetrically forceful
translation into English could be "TO EXOTICATE", infinitive tense, and
"I DO NOT EXOTICATE", present tense, negative form, first person
Reproduced on the cover of this sort of "good book", and conjugated in
the negative form, "Nao exotico" - or I do not exoticate" - thus almost
acquired the affirmative power of a commandment. "YOU SHALL NOT
EXOTICATE" should have the force of law when the concern, and that was
precisely the critic's concern, is to deal with this particular
production, namely that of art in Brazil. "YOU SHALL NOT KILL BRAZILIAN
ART", preceded perhaps by nine or so commandments, could be equally
admitted in this kind of redemptive, free of sin, geo politically
correct preaching. The problem is that the exoticism of parrots'
feathers, among other green, yellow, blue visions of a "lost paradise",
is extremely seductive, and very often compromises the commitment of
eventual followers and true believers. Parrots are easy preys and can be
easily domesticated. And they are wonderful repeaters.  Just one more
example, still in the headings domain: "ECCO LA TROPICAL ART" - just
like that, symptomatically in Italian and English - was the title chosen
bt the critic [or editor] of the magazine L'Espresso who reviewed an
exhibition of five Brazilian artists that I organized in 1990 for the
Sala 1 Gallery in Rome...
...Two popular sayings - rather promising, reassuring ones, given the
social conditions shared by significant segments of that population,
are: "Deus e' brasileiro" and "O Brasil e' o pais do futuro". If it is
true that "God is Brazilian" and "Brazil is the country of the future",
the commandments and the timetable still appear to be written elsewhere.
It is still necessary that the cries and whispers of the international
paradise fade out in the light of day for Brazilian night beasts to be
heard and for their true colors to emerge. And if it is true that the
"supreme entity" we are dealing here is art, it will sure take time for
the maxim "EVERY ARTIST IS EQUAL BEFORE ART" to be duly - or dully -
applied. For this would be the ultimate, most absolute exoticism. After
all, by nature, and "Thank Art", we are all indeed radically different

PS. Note that, for technical reasons (ASCII):
(1) "Nao", lacking the tilde over the letter a, appears here in a sort
of exoticated version of "no". It was correctly printed, with the tilde
in the right place, on the cover of ArtForum.
(2) exo'tico : this is the expedient I normally use in email to indicate
that letter "o" is accentuated. Other Others prefer the form "oh".  The
problem with the form " exo'tico" is that the separation between exo and
tico may lead inadvertent readers to find in it a reference to the
tico-tico (exotic bird sung by Carmen Miranda in Tico-tico no fuba' (or
(3) pais: another technical problem: the word pais, without the acute
accent over the letter "i", stands for "fathers". In ASCII/Portuguese,
the saying literally reads: Brazil is the fathers of the future. If
correctly written, the country (o pai's) is always accentuated. The same
with the synonym pa'tria, like in Fernando Pessoa: "Minha li'ngua e'
minha pa'tria" (My language is my country). 
But, again,  the form pai's might appear to mimic the English way of
indicating something like the property, or in the name "of the father",
which is improper.

Note also:
Software: To replace tico-tico, my document spelling facility suggests
"tactic". To replace fuba' (maize flour) it suggests Cuba, tuba, phoebe,
phobia, fob, fib, and Fabio. The combines Tactic no Cuba, Tactic no
Phobia, etc., should therefore duly - or dully - replace my tico-tico no
fuba questionable spelling. 

Hardware: Apple: in Portuguese, "maca". But without the cedilla under
the c and the tilde over the a, the word ends up standing for
"stretcher" (not for canvases, but the portable bed for the sick, or the
dead). Every Brazilian/Portuguese email writer speaks with an Adam's
stretcher stretched (for canvases, framings)
in the throat. Sometimes hard a maca to swallow (exotic bird).

Soft and Aware (what do we know about malandros?)  Other Others: what
the hacker is that? Outro Outros. To replace the questionable Outro my
facility suggests outgo, outdo, outwore, outwear, outer, otter. Among
Milton Machado

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