Entitled utopias of common life, Brazil's official participation in the 17th Bienalle Architettura 2021 is curated by the collaborative studio Arquitetos Associados and the visual designer Henrique Penha. The exhibition at the Brazilian Pavilion in the Giardini, in Venice, begins by mapping utopias that exist on Brazilian soil, from the Guarani world vision of a Land Without Evil to contemporary times, highlighting a few singular moments among them.
Conceived before the Covid-19 pandemic, which has temporarily suspended the possibility of physical proximity in a large part of the world, the proposal gains new meanings in the current context and dialogues with the overall theme, by curator Hashim Sarkis: How Will We Live Together?
The idea of utopia runs through various moments in the history of thinking about and producing Brazilian space, long before Thomas More coined the word in his celebrated book. In constructing this curatorial narrative, we seek to transpose and redefine the concept as a device for approaching the contemporary. – Carlos Alberto Maciel.
utopias of common life consists of two sections shown in each of the two rooms that compose the Brazilian Pavilion. The smaller room will hold the section Futures of the Past, dedicated to two iconic designs of modern architecture and to the utopias that guided them, built between the end of the Estado Novo and the JK years (1946 to 1961). This section presents an interpretation, through the eyes of visual artist Luiza Baldan, of the Pedregulho Housing Complex in Rio de Janeiro’s North Zone, one of the largest social housing undertakings in the 1940s and highly innovative at its time, designed in 1947 by Affonso Eduardo Reidy. It also presents the photographic essay by photographer Gustavo Minas about everyday life at the Brasília Bus Station Platform (1957), designed by Lucio Costa, a very unique work built at the intersection of the two axes that constitute the Pilot Plan for Brazil’s federal capital.
The large room will feature Futures of the Present, where two videos especially commissioned for the Biennale Architettura 2021 will be screened, reflecting utopically on the occupation of the contemporary metropolises. The first, by directors Aiano Bemfica, Cris Araújo, and Edinho Vieira, presents the possibilities for the reappropriation of buildings in the downtown districts of large metropolises. The second video, by director Amir Admoni, poetically interprets an idea for the appropriation of rivers and their banks conceived by the Metrópole Fluvial project – a 2010 proposal for the city of São Paulo by a research group of the same name at the University of São Paulo.
It seems that the urgent need of rethinking forms of coexistence between humans and the planet in viable and socially inclusive ecological terms is amplified by the collective experience imposed by the pandemic, thus reinforcing the relevance of the themes the exhibition seeks to discuss. – Arquitetos Associados
The public will be able to visit the exhibition from Saturday, 22 May, until Sunday, 21 November 2021. Lina Bo Bardi and Rafael Moneo were selected as the recipients of the Special Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in memoriam of the Venice Biennale 2021.
Source: Fundação Bienal