The Communism of Form and the Music Clip


From this Friday until the beginning of August, Sao Paulo's Galeria Vermelho hosts one of the most riveting exhibitions of the summer. Curated by local critics Fernando Oliva and Marcelo Rezende, 'Communism of Form: Sound + Image + Time ? The Music Clip Strategy' brings together works by 30 Brazilian and international artists that reflect, examine, or evoke the aesthetics of the music clip within contemporary visual culture. The show's organizing principle takes on French critic Nicolas Bourriaud's definition of 'communism of form,' an expression that identifies the current art practices based on an immense library of images, emotional states, and psychological experiences generated by post-Fordist societies that are shared both by the artists and the audience--as the music clip-- that thus engage in a participatory relationship with the pieces. Many artists--such as Forsyth & Pollard (UK), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand), Nuevos Ricos (Mexico), Laibach (Slovenia), and Tetine (Brazil)--developed new works, addressing with different and surprising styles the fundamental elements of the music clip: sound, image, and time. As Oliva and Rezende say, 'the music clip, with its absence of an hierarchy between the old and the new and the technological and the craft, puts in motion all the world's repertoire.' A blog comprising several posts--from film stills to YouTube videos--and a book with various commissioned essays and interviews discussing the theoretical frame of the show complements this project, expanding its original and very opportune features in unexpected ways and furthering the debate around this prominent cultural expression. - Miguel Amado