10/4/2013 - 1/17/2014
Curator: Jana Bernartová, Jen Kratochvíl
The exhibition entitled Brazil I.: Architecture is the first of the two-part cycle of the presentation of Brazilian modernist visuality at the Kvalitář Gallery. Owing to its scope, it oscillates between a popular educational exhibition and a specifically authoritarian curator’s project.
The concept authors, Jana Bernartová and Jan Kratochvíl, present an adapted variation of the most famous Brazilian gallery installation of the art prepared by architect Lino Bo Bardi in Museo de arte Sao Paulo, the building which has become one of the icons of Brazilian architecture, while also being a model of an atypical installation solution in the modernist space redefining the well-established exhibition conventions and approaches. Lino Bo Bardi built the museum building with glass walls without the possibility of a classical suspension installation. For this reason, she prepared a system of stands which she used to fill the vast open museum space in a dense grid, thus approaching the presentation of a salon model, rather than the currently dominating tendencies to provide the exhibits with the biggest possible distinctive freedom. Kvalitář, the gallery which is, on the contrary, substantially defined by the historical architectural framework of thick walls and arches, will make use of Lino Bo Bardi’s stands adapted in a metal frame as a reminiscence and celebration of this leading architect. We perceive the framework of her installation system as a direct link to Brazilian modernism.
Brazilian modernist architecture is a concept whose awareness has been well-established in both professional and general public. The iconic realisations of Oscar Niemeyer and its most distinct buildings serve as the most common example to this. Yet how do we approach this visual knowledge or this information? Through media, a virtual data package. At present, it is the dominant position of searching through the optics of Google Search that influences our vision and perception. The exhibition concept turns searching by means of the Google search engine into a decisive moment for the curator’s concept. Google thus becomes a partner in the curator’s choice of materials documenting the Brazilian architectural modernism, attempting to show the extent to which we are influenced by its narrow view and how we lose a significant amount of relevant information owing to the dependence on Google, condensing the complex issues into a simple list of pictures of repeated Niemeyer’s buildings and portraits as a key icon of Brazilian architecture.
Another presentation consists of the view of Brazilian modernism through the prism of popular culture film references, again emphasised by Internet searching.
Kvalitář will thus showcase those well-known photographs, yet distorted by searching, as well as completely atypical buildings and modernist expressions disappearing from the general awareness mainly due to the difficulty in searching for them. In general, the curators attempt to understand how someone in Central Europe may perceive the distant messageon Brazilian modernism, simplified in terms of information.