“Back in the 1970s it crossed my mind that if an asteroid with the Earth fatally shocked, he would destroy the big things, but not the small things”; and one is small in the works of Meireles, like an ant. And one is also active. You need to be in the middle so that the piece exists completely. ”
He’s been in the delivery room of the Brazilian conceptual art. His eyes widened at the first view of A Casa é o Corpo (The House is the Body) of Lygia Clark and also embarked in the Brazilianized labyrinths of Oiticica’s Tropicália. The drawings are base and formation, but he needed to leave the two-dimensional, create a process of involvement. As a laid-back Brazilian Duchamp, Cildo found in the object the desire and in the space the joke.
Example of this is his first work, Desvio para o Vermelho (Turn to the Red). It is the inside out of every security and organization. It is the living and TV room, everything red, color of contestation and hassle. The rooms that follow thereafter all lead to the same starting point, the domestic idiosyncrasies. To enter it is to stay in longing of the doubt, the reason for the color, the reason for the crooked sink spurting red water
The political and social charge of his work has to do with an experience of castration; when younger, he was invited to participate in an exhibition that did not happen due to police intervention, for alleged subversive content. Cildo realized the importance of impregnating politics into his works, not pamphletary, abstract. Burning chickens on a mast or stamping dollar bills, the cry is potent.
The installations are born both from research and the levity of the moment. Cildo says that visual arts does not define his work, but much more the fine arts, as he also make use of sound and touch. In the Missão/Missões (Como Construir uma Catedral) (Mission/Missions (How to build a Cathedral)), the artist creates a mecca with its relation already explored against the overvaluation of money, raising a monument with 600,000 coins of 1 cent, bones and communion wafer.
It is contestation of the space and it is the body, being gear that moves the work constantly. The miniscule wooden box that devoured a boy at an exhibition and the gigantic tower of radios tuned in like a modern Babel. The universe of large and small things of Cildo Meireles.