Carolina Maria de Jesus and Arthur Bispo do Rosario: a poetics of waste in the construction of artistic identity
abstract Resisting aesthetic expressions that came about in the wake of Brazil’s modernization process, during the “golden years” of the first half of the twentieth century, Arthur Santo Bispo do Rosario (1910-1984) moves from Sergipe to Rio de Janeiro and Carolina Maria Jesus (1914 -1977) from Minas Gerais to São Paulo. While Bispo do Rosario employed yarn, cloth and various types of waste materials, Carolina Maria de Jesus used newspapers, books, notebooks and materials that she carefully selected from the trash she collected. For both the artist and the writer, these waste products were at the same time substance and primary materials in their creative endeavors. Both used waste as a means of inserting and reaffirming their work within the confines of an exclusionary society. These artists’ work expresses aesthetic and creative procedures that fit within the parameters of modern and postmodern art. Their work challenges prevalent linguistic and visual systems by incorporating waste, garbage, and disposable materials.