– Autumn/Winter 2011


Hélio Oiticica

Hélio Oiticica, Neyrótika, 1973, slide series and soundtrack. © Projeto Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro

Hélio Oiticica, Neyrótika, 1973, slide series and soundtrack. © Projeto Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro

MARILYN MONROE crosses a corridor-assembly, back view, the take is repeated, until feathers begin falling like snow: her steps become lighter, as if to evoke perfection: wanting to evoke-reproduce the famous scene in NIAGARA [1953] in which MARILYN hears the bell tower play the musical signal for the secret encounter with her lover, and she gets out of the car as if hypnotised and does the most perfect walk of all walks, crossing a bridge, holding a box purse, 7 hops, white-sexy blouse, black skirt: but here, in the repeating take, which transforms itself with every repetition, who evokes-parodies her is MM: MARIO MONTEZ in the film by BILL VEHR, which originally should have been called MM FOR MM, but became WAIT [sic] FOR SUGAR: remember SOME LIKE IT HOT in which MARILYN is SUGAR, whom at the end we see on a bicycle heading towards the yacht where the others are, yelling ‘wait for sugar!’ — the first time i met MARIO MONTEZ and was presented to him was this year at a party at the house of film director IRA COHEN, sort of caliph of the underground, who does neo-expressionist films using mylar plastic at all times: at this party MARIO was au naturel, that is, as a man: in all his films (except one, according to SHELDON RENAN, called MOVIE, by ROBERT BLOSSOM, though it was called A REHEARSAL as well, in which ‘he undergoes a metamorphosis into a dizzy and vain young

  1. Original text published by Hélio Oiticica in Presença, no.2, Rio de Janeiro, December 1971. Information in footnotes and square brackets added by the translator.

  2. Hélio Oiticica inserted ‘MARIO MONTEZ’, ‘CAROL KOCHINSKY’ and ‘WHITE PUSSY, MARIO MONTEZ’s cat-star’ into his translation of the original quotation by Parker Tyler into the Portuguese.

  3. Explanatory note by the translator: ‘Soy Loco por Tí, América’ was composed by Gilberto Gil and first published in 1968 by Caetano Veloso on his Tropicália album. The lyrics by the poet Capinam were sung in a sophisticated mix of Spanish and Portuguese and describe the desirable incarnation of the utopia of a pan-Latin-American social movement first as a woman, then as a man, then as a people. The Brazilian military dictatorship considered the song to be ideologically ‘communist’.

  4. Translation of the English original from the Portuguese by the author.

    Literature quoted in the text (as indicated by Hélio Oiticica):

    Sheldon Renan, An Introduction to the American Underground Film, New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1967.

    Parker Tyler, Underground Film: A Critical History, New York: Grove Press, 1969.

    The translator would like to thank Ricardo Basbaum for his advice on the text’s translation, and the

    Projeto Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro and Fred Coelho for facilitating research of the historical material.

    Translated by Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz.