Sweat is a sign of both attraction and struggle, joy and excess; it relays fear and illness; it is evidence of exertion and expenditure. As a residue of physical vitality, sweat modulates temperature while enlivening the senses and smoothing the friction among conjugating bodies. Published alongside the eponymous exhibition ‘Sweat’ at the Haus der Kunst Munich, this book gathers together over thirty artists and writers—including new commissions and pathbreaking works from the seventies and eighties—to connect historical perspectives on and contemporary struggles for radical social emancipation. Traversed by an ethics of and through pleasure, these sensual acts help to materialize narratives that have been silenced or rendered invisible, insisting instead on a politics and poetics of bodies becoming shameless.
Ritualized, civil choreographies such as carnival parades, which assert communities in different places around the world by means of dance and masquerade, have fundamentally inspired the design of this publication: rhythm and movement dynamize the relationship between image and text, and the color concept echoes the code of arms of Mangueira, one of the oldest samba schools in Rio de Janeiro. The multifaceted essay contributions further expand the socio-political convictions addressed in the artistic works.