Black Feminism and the Feeling of the Sublime in the Performance Merci Beaucoup, Blanco!

Alice Lino Lecci

Abstract


This paper presents a criticism of the performance Merci Beaucoup, Blanco! by Michelle Mattiuzzi and the self-reflection on it published in the 32nd Biennial of São Paulo – “Live Uncertainty” (2016) –  entitled Written Performance Photography Experiment. To this end, we emphasize the performance’s formal elements alongside aspects of the history of racist practices and theories in Brazil, in addition to the official historiography concerning the black population, which contextualize the feelings of pain and horror impregnating both the artist’s personal experience and her performance.

Accordingly, the elements of this performance that can incite feelings of pleasure in the observer such as the resistance of black women and their political representation are analyzed in the field of art and culture. Lastly, to conclude, this paper argues about the possibilities of the performance’s fruition. This argument is based on the artist's text and certain constituent arguments of the feeling of the sublime’s concept, as presented by Edmund Burke, Immanuel Kant and Jean-François Lyotard.

Considering an analogy with the aesthetics of the sublime, it is argued that  Merci Beaucoup Blanco! gravitates in the atmosphere of horror, pain and shock, recalling/suggesting feelings of racial violence and discrimination still existing in Brazil. This performance of a black woman against racist oppression also constitutes an act of resistance of the artist, capable of awakening feelings of pleasure in their watchers. The public then moves from shock, pain and horror to contentment of the political consciousness of race, gender, and class.

 

Article received: April 23, 2019; Article accepted: June 15, 2019; Published online: September 15, 2019. Original scholarly paper

How to cite this article: Lino Lecci, Alice. "Black Feminism and the Feeling of the Sublime in the Performance Merci Beaucoup, Blanco!AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 19 (2019): 85-99. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i19.316


Keywords


art criticism; black art; performance; sublime; racism

Full Text:

PDF

References


de Assis, Machado. “Pai contra mãe.” In: Relíquias da casa velha, 2–9. Rio de Janeiro: Fundação Biblioteca Nacional, 1906.

Burke, Edmund. Uma investigação filosófica sobre a origem de nossas ideias do sublime e do belo. Campinas, Papirus: Editora da Universidade de Campinas, 1993.

Cohen, Renato. Performance como linguagem. Criação de um tempo-espaço de experimentação. São Paulo: Editora Perspectiva, 2002.

Chiavenato, J. José. O negro no Brasil. São Paulo: Editora Brasiliense, 1986.

Fernandes, Florestan. O negro no mundo dos Brancos. São Paulo: Global, 2007.

Fiuza, Denis Henrique. “A Propaganda da Eugenia no Brasil: Renato Kehl e a implantação do racismo científico no Brasil a partir da obra ‘Lições de Eugenia’.” Aedos 8, 19 (2016): 85–107.

Kant, Immanuel. Crítica da Faculdade do Juízo, 2. ed. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Forense Universitária, 2005.

Longino. Do sublime. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 1996.

Lyotard, Jean-François. L’inhumain. Causeries sur le temps. Paris: Éditions Galilée, 1988.

Mattiuzzi, Michelle. “Merci Beaucoup, Blanco! Escrito, Experimento, Fotografia, Performance.” Publicação comissionada pela Fundação Bienal de São Paulo em ocasião da 32a Bienal de São Paulo – Incerteza Viva. São Paulo, 2016.

Mattiuzzi, Michelle. “Encontro com a performer, escritora e pesquisadora do corpo Michelle Mattiuzzi.” SP Escola de Teatro, sede Brás. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3q9ZwEtAdE. Accessed March 3, 2018.

Newman, Barnett. “The Sublime is Now (1948).” In: Barnett Newman: Selected Writings and Interviews, edited by John P. O’Neill, 170–74. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1992.

Souza, Neusa Santos. Tornar-se negro ou as vicissitudes da Identidade do Negro Brasileiro em Ascensão Social. Rio de Janeiro: Edições Graal Ltda, 1990.

Souza, Vanderlei Sebastião de. A política biológica como projeto: a ‘eugenia negativa’ e a construção da nacionalidade na trajetória de Renato Kehl (1917–1932). Dissertação (Mestrado em História das Ciências), Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, 215 f, 2006.

Viana, Oliveira. Instituições políticas brasileiras. Brasília: Conselho Editorial do Senado Federal. Coleção Biblioteca Básica Brasileira, volume II, 1999.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i19.316

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2019 AM Journal of Art and Media Studies

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

AM Journal of Art and Media Studies ISSN 2217-9666 - printed, ISSN 2406-1654 - online, UDK 7.01:316.774

Contact: amjournal@outlook.com

Publisher: Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University, Belgrade, Serbia

Indexed in: ERIH PLUSEBSCODOAJ, and in The List of Scientific Journals Categorization of Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Republic of Serbia (M51-2019). Beginning with No. 12 2017, AM is indexed, abstracted and covered in Clarivate Analytics service ESCI.