Uniquely situated at a crossroads, Brazil is a country where utopias and shattered dreams, dystopias and seductive realities can coexist almost without conflict. Its long-standing European colonial tradition, its abundant natural resources, its remarkable topography, its racial and cultural diversity, its rampant socioeconomic inequalities and its dubious state of development make Brazil a Janus-faced gem.
Brasília, Brazil’s miraculously conjured capital, captures the imagination as the ultimate testament to Brazil’s transformative capacity. The city represents a triumph of political vision and willpower, a utopia turned into reality. Built in forty one months between 1956 and 1960 during Juscelino Kubitschek’s presidential administration, Brasília not only delivered the promise of ‘Fifty Years of Progress in Five’ but was also the incarnation of an old Brazilian dream of an inland capital. As Guilio Carlo Argan suggests, “Brazil became modern almost instantaneously and without any questioning of, or distancing from, the process. Modernity occurred, it could be said, without any accompanying cultural sedimentation.”
Type of Project: Research / Exhibition
Location: Brazil / New Haven, CT
Status: Completed, May 2009
Awards: George Nelson Traveling Fellowship