With the participation of the Institute’s Chief Curator, Victor Gorgulho, and researcher and writer Maurício Barros de Castro, the artist addressed the production of his iconic Carnival series
On March 17, Inclusartiz Cultural Center held a conversation with artist Carlos Vergara, as part of a program in parallel with the exhibition “From Avenue to Harmony: More than a century of Carnival in downtown Rio de Janeiro”, in which he took part. The activity had the participation of Instituto Inclusartiz’s Chief Curator and responsible for the selection of works for the collective exhibition, Victor Gorgulho, and of researcher Maurício Barros de Castro, who wrote the book “Carnaval-Ritual: Carlos Vergara e Cacique de Ramos,” published by Editora Cobogó in 2021.
The theme of the conversation was the iconic photographic series Carnaval (1972-1976), by Vergara, present at the Inclusartiz exhibition and widely discussed by Barros de Castro in his book. Through this seminal set of works, the artist was able to document his deep connection with the Cacique de Ramos block, which emerged in Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s and is still an undisputed presence as one of the main tentacles of Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival.
On the occasion, Carlos Vergara said that his approximation with carnival started with his first contact with Cacique de Ramos during the military dictatorship. “I am one of the 7,000 members,” the motto intoned by Bira Presidente, founder of the block, represented for Vergara the strength of collectivity and unity in such a troubled period, a great political gesture that the Cacique carried (and continues to carry) to the streets.
“Cacique has this instinct of sharing things with people. In fact, art is sharing things with people. And the ideal is to do something never seen before, a surprise. Which will be a surprise for me first, and that I will share with others,” he told the audience.
The conversation also permeated other moments of Vergara’s career, such as the EX-Position exhibition (1972), at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. Scheduled as an individual exhibition, it ended up as a group show organized by Vergara, in which the other artists – names such as Roberto Magalhães, Caetano Veloso, Chacal and Waltércio Caldas – were also able to position themselves critically in relation to the political reality of the country.