Skip to main content

How many we(s) fit into a "we"? On the contraction and expansion of collective identities in Oswald de Andrade’s Anthropophagic Manifest.

Termin Label
Research Webinar
Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften
Online via Zoom

Lecture by Guilherme Mata as part of the lecture series Transatlantic Modernities between Brazil and Austria. 

This paper discusses the use of the personal and possessive pronouns in the first person of plural in the Anthropophagic Manifesto. There, the use of a collective identity shrinks or expands: from a universal "we", which by cultural anthropophagy is understood as the “human essence” (ex.: "Only anthropophagy unites us / The world’s only law"), to its delimitation as a political-ideological group (ex.: "We want the Caribbean revolution"). Each time, this "we/us" is defined by renewed perspectives: anthropological, epistemological, psychological, political, cultural and philosophical, bringing the processes of inclusion/exclusion of its components to quantitative and qualitative variations. In this process, the identification of "they/them", which is also constitutive for the definition of the collective “we/us”, is also changeable and unstable: from an assimilation with the new European artistic current to the rejection of Western culture. In view of the diversity and inconstancy of forms for defining a collective identity, we can still ask today: would this constant expansion and contraction in the description of the common, which are even often contradictory, be the condition for our postcolonial identity? Or is this elasticity the condition for an identity at all?

Guilherme Pires Mata, born 1962, post-graduated in curatorial practices at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Currently, he is a Master's student at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna working on the theses "Transcriptions on the nostalgic body: on the anthropophagic traces in the letters between Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica (1964-1974)" under the guidance of Prof. Sabeth Buchmann.

Time: 9 am (Brazilian time) / 2 pm (Austria time) - duration 2 hours


Meeting-ID: 991 6687 8058

Language : English