Penetráveis (Penetrables), by Hélio Oiticica, are structures on a human scale composed of tents and banners made of different fabrics and painted wooden boards or other materials, which can be penetrated, traversed and manipulated by living bodies, in an informal and spontaneous way.

They are artworks with different arrangements, and can be displayed individually or in groups of different penetrables.

In Tropicália, Oiticica builds an environment that brings together nature (plants and macaws) and culture (poems by Roberta Salgado in the first installation in 1967). On the floor, sand and pebbles make reference to the favelas. Plants and macaws represent an image of Brazil.

Éden (Eden) is an environmental manifestation that took shape in London, in 1969, at the Whitechapel Gallery. Composed of six penetrables, which provide us with experiences with water, sand, leaves, stones, blankets and music; three bólides that used to be filled with color are now filled with people; a performative stage consisting of a circular structure that encourages a theatrical look at oneself and a set of rectangular nests with six stalls to shelter viewers in their introspection.

In 1971, Hélio created the Projeto Central Park (Project 1) which is the first in the Subterranean Tropicalia Projects series and is composed of 4 maze-like penetrables that invites the viewers to an experience “beyond participation”.

In 1978, Oiticica produced the “Magic Squares” series which highlights the experiences of duration (of color and of the viewers) and of behavioral deconditioning.

Public labyrinths are part of Oiticica’s environmental project and aim to be permanent public places “where open propositions occur”. They are installations that do not seek to represent the world or chronological time, but rather to fill the space with individual subjectivity, invoking free self-performance and each individual’s own time (duration); they are penetrables with no specific purpose that are offered to the participant so that they can use them in a creative, personal and unconditioned way. They are places where one can be the artist for oneself.