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Topos of Desire. Fictional Genealogies of Southern Pornographies

Fernanda Nogueira
Research Grantee Academy of Fine Arts Vienna | Dissertation Completion Fellowship 2017|18


The PhD-project T opos of D esire . F ictional G enealogies of S outhern P ornographies responds to the urgency of recovering and reactivating aesthetic and political practices to reflect on the contemporary (neo)colonial condition of Latin America. The project seeks to imagine a possible genealogy for the artistic actions and projects ‘cannibalized’ today, the popular folk repertoire, multiple cosmologies, radical and emancipatory pedagogies, trans-feminist struggles, post-Marxist critique, queer theories and movements in Brazil and Latin America. The claim here is for the visibility of a manifold network of creative initiatives that pushed for a process of political transformation of subjectivities through the deconstruction of fixed identities.

This project has three instances of articulation and visibility: 1. The doctoral thesis, stemming from the artistic and academic research project, which will become a Publication; 2. The creation of a free, flexible, and open source web-publishing platform, a Virtual Archive (database) of artistic practices and multiple timelines related to the issues raised during the stages of conceptualization and mapping; and 3. A physical archive: a Centre of Documentation of Performance Practices and Artistic Activism on Gender that includes a Laboratory of Artistic and Post-Pornographic Productions, ideally based in Rio de Janeiro/RJ, which shall be fully operational after the completion of the Phd in Practice program in 2018.

The project proposed here is the platform on which it will be possible to imagine and invent new ways of activating these artistic practices that remain in force, with their live demands in a colonial territory that naturalized violent orders. For this reason, the project also seeks to develop tools, such as the archive, that can support activist artistic practices that are fully operational, granting continuing to the struggle for the construction of an effectively public space and sphere.

Why does an artistic manifestation remain excluded from history? How can the disruptive power of actions that took place in the past remain active for contemporary times? What kind of operations are involved in making such memories public? This thesis addresses such questions in the process of telling the story of the quasi -known Porn Art Movement in Brazil in the 1980s. Utilising counter-methodologies and acknowledging both experience and affect, we outline an ephemeral constellation of poetic and performative practices that are imaginarily connected to this movement. At a micro-scale, this contributes to the formation of a queer historiography and a cartography from/of the South, both involving body and poetry, as well as gender activism, and extending towards other poetic-political networks in Latin America.


Fernanda Nogueira (b. 1982, São Paulo) is a researcher, art historian, literary critic, and curator. S/he holds a Master's Degree in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature (2006-2010) by the University of São Paulo, and in Museum Studies and Critical Theory from the Independent Studies Program (2008-2009) of the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. Since 2008 s/he is a member of the Southern Conceptualisms Network (RedCSur).