Curated by Fernando Serapião and Guilherme Wisnik, the Brazil Collection — the first collection exclusively comprised of non-Portuguese projects — shows the diversity of architectural production from modernity to contemporaneity across 90 years of Brazilian architecture. Its rich and original collection includes 103 projects, with more than 4,700 physical pieces and 45,500 digital pieces — texts, sketches, drawings and models, donated by more than 150 donors —, to which 150 of Casa da Arquitectura’s books and publications were added, along with digital documents and authorised facsimiles given to us by several governmental, educational and cultural institutions, both public and private. These allow us to create a unique documentary base, and to foster new readings on Brazil’s architectural output from the 1920s to the present day.
“Infinito Vão — 90 Years of Brazilian Architecture”
September 28, 2018 – April 28, 2019
Casa da Arquitectura, Avenida Menéres, 456
With its wide range of initiatives — an exhibition, a publication, a digital research platform and a vast program of activities in the two countries, Portugal and Brazil —, and through its dialogue with music, cinema and literature, INFINITO VÃO’s goal is to make Brazilian architecture known to a new and more general public of different international backgrounds.
More than favouring historical readings (though these are given a proper contextual framework in the diverse range Brazilian cultural production) our aim is to give a perspective on the different and excellent achievements produced in Brazil in the last decades, thus promoting a contemporary, current and even prospective view of the output of many generations of professionals. “Infinito Vão — 90 Years of Brazilian Architecture” is the name — inspired by the music and voice of Gilberto Gil — of the exhibition which Casa da Arquitectura (CA) — Portuguese Centre of Architecture will be opening this coming 28th of September, curated by Fernando Serapião and Guilherme Wisnik.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a diverse parallel programme curated by Nuno Sampaio, CA’s executive director, on-going until the 29th of April, with activities in Portugal and Brazil. “Infinito Vão” is the result of a two year-long work process, led by Casa da Arquitectura in Brazil, which assembled an assortment of pieces, including more than 200 donations, to be included in Casa’s permanent collection.
The ‘Brazilian Architecture Collection’, the most representative exhibition on Brazilian architecture of the last few years, comprises 103 projects and more than 50 thousand pieces, including sketches, photographs, slides, documents, films, models, ceramics, and others. The collection accomplishes two core objectives: boosting expert research on the subject by opening the collection to researchers; and laying the foundations for future exhibitions at Casa da Arquitectura, in accretion to the growing gallery of ‘resident’ authors like Eduardo Souto de Moura, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Álvaro Siza Vieira, Pedro Ramalho and João Álvaro Rocha, among others.
THE BRAZILIAN AUTHORS
“Infinito Vão – 90 Anos de Arquitetura Brasileira” will be made up of 90 projects — half of which belong to the modern period, while the other half belongs to the contemporary period — by authors that are fundamental for understanding Brazilian’s architectural output. In addition to designs and models, the collection will also include an auxiliary branch with 150 essential books on the topic, which will be added to Casa da Arquitectura’s library.
The projects flown over to Portugal are the result of donation contracts signed by the architects or their heirs. Two Brazilian commissioners, Fernando Serapião and Guilherme Wisnik, oversaw the selection of projects, with the aim of bringing together several generations of Brazilian architects. Noteworthy examples include Lucio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer, Affonso Eduardo Reidy, MMM Roberto, Sergio Bernardes, Roberto Burle Marx, Vilanova Artigas, Lina Bo Bardi, Rino Levi, Severiano Mario Porto, João Filgueiras Lima (Lelé) and Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Most of these authors’ original drawings and designs are part of public and private collections (Brazilian universities, foundations and institutes), to whom the curators, on behalf of Casa da Arquitectura, have proposed an agreement in order for Matosinhos to accommodate a selection of authorized and authenticated copies of selected projects. Most of the collection will be dedicated to the contemporary stage, which covers the period from the 1980s to the present day. This part of the collection will showcase creations of the current generation of professionals, whose activity is in full swing — authors like Marcos Acayaba, Brasil Arquitetura, Angelo Bucci, Andrade Morettin and Carla Juaçaba, among others.
In order to understand the historical-cultural framework of this era of Brazilian architectural production, the curators have also selected a slew of books — works both in and out of print, including several volumes of authors and publishers which are now gone — to assemble a basic library of Brazilian architecture. Part of the commissioners’ mission was to search for these volumes in establishments that sell out of print and rare works.
INFINITO VÃO AT CASA DA ARQUITECTURA
In accordance with its core mission, Casa da Arquitectura aims at making this collection known to the general public through this great exhibition, which not only takes up the whole 900m2 of its Exhibition Aisle but also includes the publication of a catalogue and an ambitious 7-month programme of activities split between Portugal and Brazil. This programme will showcase the excellence of Brazilian architecture and culture beyond the boundaries of the subject, bringing architecture together with other cultural manifestations, such as cinema, literature and music (a more detailed programme to follow).
The inauguration will take place on September 28 with the opening of the exhibition “Infinito Vão” — with guided tours by the curators — and the exhibition “Two Houses” by Paulo Mendes da Rocha in Casa’s Gallery. The inaugural event will extend over the weekend and will also include conferences, talks, cinema, book launches and a concert, and will conclude with the bestowal of Honorary Memberships upon Brazilian donors and the Brazilian architect and Pritzker prize winner Paulo Mendes da Rocha. In addition to the extensive parallel programme that will take place in Portugal, Brazil will also host a programme of debates, round tables and musical performances.
News source: Casa da Arquitectura – Centro Português de Arquitectura
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