17 October 2006
It is a worthwhile jaunt to the Bronx to see a contemporary rendering of the Hélio Oiticica installation that gave birth to the Tropicália movement in ‘60s Brazil. As it was one of those ‘had to be there’ movements, ‘there’ is reconstructed: you take your shoes off and traverse through wet walking areas, loud parrots, minimalism, and pulp novels -- you don’t think so much about where it came from and what it inspired people to do because you are so busy forgetting where you came from. The show, spread out over five rooms and a few hallways, presents a little of the political context of the movement but seems to err on the side of understatement here.
In town on Sunday this allowed me to avoid weekend crowds in the Manhattan places (and since galleries are closed) but the Bronx Museum could benefit from hanging additional shows or a permanent collection since there is nothing else to do within walking distance. Two blocks west of the 149th street stop there’s a good West African market in an abandoned warehouse if you are driving or can bear to walk around with a sack of fu fu paste in your bag.