Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948–1988

Introduction to section, Pensamento mudo, Nostalgia of the body, Structuring of the Self

Introduction to section, Pensamento mudo, Nostalgia of the body, Structuring of the Self

Lygia Clark. Colchão para a estruturação do self. 1970
Courtesy Associação Cultural “O Mundo de Lygia Clark”

Glenn Lowry: In this gallery, you'll find Clark's participatory works—facilitators may approach you to interact with the objects. Many of these works explore the human longing for a sense of completeness. Luis Perez-Oramas:

Luis Perez-Oramas: It is about looking for the body. And it is about missing the wholeness of the body. It is also linked to something that Lygia Clark would call the "Mute Thought," Pensamento Mudo, which will be a way of thinking that doesn't need to materialize verbally.

Glenn Lowry: Clark wanted to encourage a restructuring of self-perception by making participants more aware of their bodies and their multiple sensory responses. In her therapeutic practice, she used these works with patients with psychological disorders. Clark said of this period in her career:

Lygia Clark (read by voice actor): All these things are only propositions. They are not a work of art; it is the moment of the act of feeling that is important.

Glenn Lowry: For Clark, these works represented an abandonment of art and a rejection of the label of artist – she had moved completely away from making artworks that were only to be appreciated for their aesthetic value. Connie Butler:

Connie Butler: : But Clark here is not so much talking about a dematerialization, but a re-materialization of art-making, within the body of the viewer and within the experience of the viewer. So it's not so much a complete abandonment as it is a kind of transfer of the process and experience of art.

Glenn Lowry: Facilitators will be in the galleries at scheduled times to help you experience replicas of Clark's "sensorial objects." You can also watch videos of some of the objects being activated.

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