Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948–1988

Lygia Clark. _Respire Comigo (Breathe with Me)_. 1966

Lygia Clark. Respire Comigo (Breathe with Me). 1966

Industrial rubber
3/16 x 15 3/4" (0.4 x 40 cm)
Courtesy Associação Cultural “O Mundo de Lygia Clark”

Glenn Lowry: Clark created her "sensorial objects" from ordinary materials, found in the streets and stores of Rio de Janeiro. Connie Butler:

Connie Butler: : Respire Comigo for example, or Breathe with Me, is made from an aquatic air tube used by divers at the time. And she begins to extract this kind of everyday object, as a way to express her ideas about the body and about the participation of the viewer.

Glenn Lowry: Clark described how the piece was to be used:

Lygia Clark (read by voice actor): When activated near the ear, this rubber hose provides a measure of the body's breathing, revealing the living lung itself. When we become aware of the rhythm of the body we do not quickly forget it.

Glenn Lowry: Your own breathing echoes that of the tube's "breathing" as you activate it. Works like this can be understood within the context of the extreme political repression in Brazil during the 1960s and 1970s.

Connie Butler: : It's a time when colleagues and friends of Clark's and people in general are being incarcerated, are being disappeared, where bodies under repression, under suppression and manipulation of various kinds, would have been part of the daily experience of the news, but also of daily life. So in some ways, we might understand Respire Comigo or Breathe with Me, both as an experience of the breathing in and out – the simple activity of the human body – but also one of constriction and release.

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