Traffic on the roads of São Paulo, old family photographs, and the voice-over tale of Arthur Alvaro de Noronha, a doctor coming back from Paris after finishing his Medicine studies in Europe. Arthur with his family, Arthur in Paris… The voice tells us of the doctor’s adventures with friends André Breton, Paul Éluard, Max Ernst, and Pablo Picasso. This is how Omar announces the surrealist biography he weaves in Triste Trópico around the figure of an imaginary doctor who ends up as indigenous messiah. Described as a “anthropological mock documentary,” Triste Trópico is a film whose title alludes to Levi-Strauss’s ethnographic memoirs of Brazil and triggers a chain of evocative references to the carnival-cannibal avant-garde of Oswald de Andrade’s Cannibal Manifesto.
Arthur Omar. Critics say nothing can stop the flow of images, words, sounds, and ideas that converge in the work of Arthur Omar. A multifaceted Brazilian artist (Poços de Caldas, 1948), Omar is a filmmaker, photographer, musician, poet, and painter. His radical contributions in all these fields have reshaped both languages and techniques. Sensual, aesthetic ecstasy, social violence and the creation of visual metaphors are recurrent elements in his work, always in search of a new iconography for the reality of Brazil. New York’s MoMA and Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil have run retrospectives of his work, which has also been exhibited at ARCO (2000, 2003), the Venice Biennale (2000), and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea (2002), among others.