The Brazilian Pavilion brings together two outstanding professionals from two different generations: Lucio Costa (1902-1998) and Marcio Kogan (b. 1953). Costa is the world renowned urban planner who conceived Brasília, the country’s new capital inaugurated in 1960, with public buildings designed by Oscar Niemeyer (b. 1907). Costa was one of the core ideologues of Brazilian modernism and the author of some of the master-pieces of modern Brazilian architecture.
From curator Lauro Cavalcanti: Riposatevi The 1964 Milan Triennale was dedicated to leisure. Most countries exhibited different ways of spending time, with emphasis on dynamic activities. The Brazilian Pavilion, however, invited viewers to rest in one of the many hammocks waiting to be used and surrounded by guitars that visitors were allowed to play. Costa named his installation Riposatevi, and with it he affronted the obvious and displayed total freedom in overturning established canon. Four years after Brasília was inaugurated, the installation displayed the notice: “The same people who rest in hammocks can, whenever necessary, build a new capital in three year’s time.”
Concurrently to vernacular artifacts, the daring structure exhibited in Riposatevi can be seen in the mesh of tensioned steel cables from which sets of hanging hammocks can be made to sway, thus allowing viewers to individually choose between movement and stasis. The reinstallation if Riposatevi in Venice is an opportunity for contemporary viewers to become familiar with an essential piece of Brazilian visual modernism, which anticipates and converses with another outstanding piece – Hélio Oiticica’s Cosmococa, which was created ten years later.
Kogan Kogan’s language updates some of Costa’s guidelines while maintaining traditional elements and contemporary technology, thus accomplishing both local and universal expression. The concrete structures in much of his work act as bridges with late modernism especially in Sao Paulo, and were inspirational for the architecture of our pavilion, which is by Henrique Mindlin, Giancarlo Palanti, and Amerigo Nino Marchesin. Kogan’s installation evinces an instigating triangle with Costa’s work and the architecture of the pavilion itself. By exhibiting Kogan’s work at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition of Venice, Brazil shows that after the long period of crisis in post-Brasília construction the country has resumed its courageous commitment to high quality architecture.