Text for the Humusic exhibition

Luiz Camillo Osorio

Exhibition catalog | 2012

“I dropped out from Engineering school in order to raise earthworms. I was very much fascinated by the alchemical power of these annelids of transforming shit into humus” At this moment the artistic career of Cabelo also started, taking creation as a process of germination and metamorphosis. With the earthworms the artist learns to fertilize the world with the energy extracted from impurities. The interesting elements in his work are related to the mobilization of productive forces.

Humusic is an exhibition about everything: drawing, performance, poetry, sculpture, music. It’s an installation-exhibition signed by Cabelo; and also by MC Minhoca and DJ Esterco. One should not be caught up in details. Everything is humus (and music). One thing is transformed and fertilized in another. Metamorphosis and noise. Contaminations that allow a residual element to become a plastic possibility.

In the opening night young dancers from the periphery were invited by the artist for the opening performance. In 1965 samba dancers from Mangueira were not allowed inside the Museum of Modern Art (MAM); now, their “sons” of funk balls are invited for an improvised presentation! Was the shock dissolved or did the museum reinvent itself? Perhaps both–but this doesn’t mean a neutralization of vigor. Displacements open escape routes within the very institutional insertion. The instituting friction is produced today in the core of institutional negotiation. The absence of an idealized “outside” is reinvented as other possible forms of belonging.

The work happens along with a temporality pregnant of “nows”. Work-process. Nothing arrives at the exhibition venue in a finished form, but allows itself to be poetically and plastically installed by the new relations constituted in act. “Funk is one of the most authentic, potent and original manifestations of Rio de Janeiro’s culture and grants voice to a significant and still quite discriminated parcel of society. MC Fininho came to channel the funks I composed and had no place in my repertoire. I identify much of my creative process, of my production, to this rawness, with the ‘do it yourself’ spirit, with the slang, with the ability of carelessly sampling and make it your own way. What interests me is precisely the manifestation of this libertarian, straight energy, which goes against reigning asepsis and anemia.

Poetry is the germinating element. The word becomes flesh and letters become scribbles and drawings. Images are not fixed and every gesture bleeds with impurities. Wealth and waste. Nature and culture. Earth and pixel. Cabelo’s studio is located in Copacabana, between the hills and the beach, between sluggishness and confusion. There are many temporalities in a single space. A contaminated, potent and chaotic present–like this whole poetic universe that is now placed into the scene at MAM.

It’s worthwile to notice that the chaotic is not at service of a stylized improvisation. We are not talking about a contemporary mannerism, but of bidding on a poetical happening that sprouts from an opening in the work.Language that comes to be before one is conscious of it and after of moving toward it. The dark little room is the space of interiorization of chaos and of the germination of poetical potentialities. Projections are reflected on mirrors, being deformed and reconfigured through objects and fragments. The sign “Detour–warning” hung at the entrance actually means: the work is generated in detour.

  1. The quotes from the artist are part of an interview conducted for the ABC book, organized by Adriano Pedrosa and Luisa Duarte.