Tamar Guimarães – The Work of the Spirit (Parade)

UK debut for Tamar Guimarães presenting three pieces, a newly-commisioned short film entitled Parade as well as two older works, Canoas and A Man Called Love.

Guimarães’ new commission documents the teaching of a choreographed dance from Léonide Massine’s modernist ballet Parade (1917). The film looks at the overlap of the symbolic and economic value of works of art, which leads the Estate of Massine to classify choreography as a ‘work of the spirit.’

Canoas centres upon a cocktail party at Oscar Niemeyer’s Casa das Canoas; a masterpiece of Brazilian modernist architecture bordered by tropical jungle. In these seductive surroundings, we overhear snippets of guests’ conversations, which range from discussions about the quality of the champagne to the questioning of Gilberto Freyre’s observation that “Brazil has an eroticism that transcends race and class.” The collaging of these fractured statements serves to problematise the habits and routines of cultural producers.

The slide presentation and accompanying publication A Man Called Love give an account of Francisco Candido Xavier (1910 – 2002), a Brazilian psychic medium who wrote over 400 books, dictated to him by the dead. Tracing an unusual relationship between redemption and forms of resistance, the work describes how Xavier’s version of Spiritism aligned all too neatly with the conservative views of the ruling class during the years of dictatorship in Brazil from 1964 to 1985.


28 May 2011 – 17 July 2011
Tamar Guimarães – The Work of the Spirit (Parade)
155 Vauxhall Street
London SE11 5RH


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