Hummingbird Culture

‘Untenable, I leave, peeved,’ wrote Néstor Perlongher in a letter to his friend Osvaldo Baigorria in 1981. After being the object of persecutions, arrests and every kind of violence by Argentina’s last military dictatorship, between 1976 and 1983, Perlongher went into exile in São Paulo, Brazil. Not long before 1976, Fernando Noy (San Antonio Oeste, Río Negro, 1951) – the host artist to this exhibition – also emigrated to Brazil at the request of his family in order to stay alive. São Salvador da Bahia was his passage to freedom. There, he was able to live his identity unfettered in the catharsis of carnival nights, where he was queen of flowers, headdresses and nudity.

The desire to ‘live and love freely in a liberated country’, as Perlongher put it, re-emerged with a new vital energy in 1983 upon the recovery of democracy, in a slow process of reclamation and visibilisation of gender identities that continues to this day. Basements, bars, discos and even homes were the spaces where a truthful art was born somewhere between the ecstasy and the terror. The post-dictatorship counter-cultural movement, of which Noy was a leading light after his return to Buenos Aires in 1983, blazed a trail through a certain persistent repressive inertia. It was a ‘cultura colibrí’’, recalls Noy to describe stage appearances consumed during the ’80s and ’90s with the fleeting magic of a hummingbird in flight.

Cultura colibrí [Hummingbird Culture] is a poetic chronicle of underground fantasies amid the underlying presence of political violence and the HIV/AIDS crisis. Through the imaginary of the dressing room and the carnival, the logics regulating everyday life are suspended to give way to states in transformation between extroversion and privacy, scenes drawn in make-up as a refuge from the pain.

Artists: Diana Aisenberg, Archivo de la Memoria Trans, Hugo Arias, Rubén Baldemar, Batato Barea, Mildred Burton, Delia Cancela, Chiachio & Giannone + Agustina Comedi, Marina De Caro, Sergio De Loof, Facundo de Zuviría, Diana Dowek, Martín Farnholc Halley, Alejandra Fenochio, Luis Frangella, Foto Estudio Luisita, Ana Gallardo, Santiago García Saenz, Edgardo Giménez, Alberto Goldenstein, Federico Klemm, Guillermo Kuitca, Alejandro Kuropatwa, Fernanda Laguna, Bárbara Bianca LaVogue, Alfredo Londaibere, Gustavo Marrone, Marta Minujín, Fernando Noy, Néstor Perlongher, La Chola Poblete, Omar Schiliro, Pablo Suárez, Juan Tessi, Carlos Uría

Host Artist: Fernando Noy
Curated by: Jimena Ferreiro
Exhibition Design: Daniela Thomas, Felipe Tassara e Iván Rösler 
Production: Julieta Potenze