Cannibalistic Slobber

Lygia Clark

Cidade Matarazzo

Cidade Matarazzo
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Spools of cotton string in the sitters’ mouths feed out into a web of “slobber” covering the participant lying on the floor. As soon as the spools run empty, the droolers open their eyes and “reconnect” with the dribble, pulling the wet strands apart until the mantle is undone. The “destruction” of the slobber sheet is aggressive, euphoric and even a little painful, as the threads are hard to break. After the destruction comes discussion. The act should be repeated over and over, so that it can be experienced in different ways, without being confined to any one understanding or interpretation. The spinning of the spool inside the mouth triggers the production of saliva, which sticks to the threads so that the prostrate volunteer is literally drooled upon by several people at once. Pulling the thread out of one’s mouth is an act of exteriorisation. According to Clark, the participants “start out aware that what they are pulling out of their mouths is just thread, but as the performance goes on, they begin to feel like they are actually pulling up their own guts”. In 1972, Lygia Clark was invited to deliver a course on gestural communication at the Sorbonne, and Baba Antropofágica, 1973 was devised during this period. The artist believed that painting as we knew it had seen its day and needed to be moved on from. Her career as an artist is timeless and impossible to categorise within the History of Art.


  • Title: Cannibalistic Slobber
  • Creator: Lygia Clark
  • Creator Lifespan: 1920 - 1988
  • Date: 1973/1973
  • Provenance: DVD Baba "Antropofágica". Duração 10'. Diretor: Walmor Pamplona. Ator Convidado: Jards Macalé. Realização: Clark Art Center. Cortesia: Associação Cultural "O Mundo de Lygia Clark".
  • Type: video

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