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Sixteen years after having worked in northeastern Brazil, specifically in the state of Bahia, architect and cultural administrator Lina Bo Bardi evaluates the state of drawing in a dependent and capitalist country that underwent intense industrialization despite a lingering oligarchic structure, that is, before having experienced the bourgeois revolution. The text warns of the dangers of sudden industrialization without due planning or modernizing processes that make the development of a native culture possible. She provides an overview of the current state of Brazil’s “popular” civilization, an outgrowth of an array of domestic pre-craft practices, asserting that crafts as social body never really existed in Brazil. The text demystifies “design” and emphasizes instead the value of popular processes of making that can be seized by the artist. Bo Bordi also addresses the 1963 show Civilização do Nordeste held at the Museu de Arte Popular do Unhão in Salvador (capital of the state of Bahia).
Dezesseis anos depois do período em que trabalhou no nordeste brasileiro, Lina Bo Bardi avalia a situação do desenho em um país de estrutura capitalista dependente, em que não se processou a revolução burguesa e que entrou na industrialização com restos de estruturas oligárquico-nacionais. Adverte sobre a industrialização abruta não planificada e a implantação dos processos modernizadores, que impossibilitam o desenvolvimento de uma cultura autóctone. Faz um balanço da situação da civilização brasileira "popular", derivada de um pré-artesanato doméstico esparso, afirmando que o artesanato como corpo social nunca existiu no Brasil. Desmistifica o "design" e chama a atenção para a riqueza do fazer popular ao alcance do artista. Esclarece sobre a exposição Bahia, em São Paulo, 1959 e sobre a exposição Civilização do Nordeste, no Museu de Arte Popular do Unhão, em Salvador, 1963
In this statement, Italian architect Lina Bo Bardi (née, Achillina Bo, 1914-1992) discusses the period she spent in northeastern Brazil (1959-1964) creating cultural incentives in that region. She also explains how all the practical and intellectual work she had done starting in the fifties was undermined by the military coup in 1964, which would usher in a period of military rule that lasted until 1985. The text explains the guidelines for the exhibition Bahia organized by Lina and Martim Gonçalves. That show, held in São Paulo from September 21 to December 31, 1959, was the first major exhibition of popular and folk art from northeastern Brazil. For information on Civilização do Nordeste, the inaugural exhibition of the Museu de Arte Popular do Unhão in 1963 [see ICAA digital archive (doc. no. 1111193)]. Texts by Bo Bardi and other authors that intend to provide a reading of “that real Brazil” were started in 1980, but abandoned the following year. It was with the Instituto Lina Bo Bardi that that editorial project, coordinated by architecture historian Marcelo Suzuki, was finally able to reach fruition. Bo Bardi did significant work in the areas of popular and folk arts, crafts, and pre-crafts from the northeast. The texts in the aforementioned volume include: “Exposição Bahia” (1959) by Jorge Amado; “Arte dos pobres apavora os generais” [The Art of the Poor Terrifies the Brazilian Generals ] (1965) by Italian architect Bruno Zevi; “O artesanato no Ceará” (1963) by Lívio Xavier; and writings by Flavio Motta (1970), Abelardo Hora (1963), Celso Furtado (1967), Glauber Rocha (1964), Paulo Gil Soares (1964) and Ariano Suassuna (1963). Pertinent as well is Bo Bardi’s text “Arte popular” (doc. no. 1110862).
The architect lived in Salvador, Bahia from 1959 to 1964, the period she directed the Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia (MAMB). Her work as the head of programming and education at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) and, later, as the director of MAMB, demonstrate a commitment to exhibitions on art history. She was also responsible for organizing exhibitions of contemporary artists, from Brazil and beyond, who made use of a range of techniques, and for efforts that placed emphasis on popular and folk culture from “northeastern” Brazil. Bo Bardi advocated courses in art, music, cinema, and theater, and workshops in industrial design and crafts. Her work energized the art scene from this region of Brazil and allowed local artists to come into contact with major figures in contemporary art. The year 1963 witnessed the opening of the Museu de Arte Popular—built at the Solar do Unhão (Salvador, 1963) at Bo Bardi’s instance—which featured pieces from different regions of the country. At the opening show, the architect would further develop themes suggested at the Bahía exhibition held years earlier as part of the V São Paulo Biennial (1959). In her view, that show should have been called Civilização do Nordeste since the term civilization is understood as “comprehensive human life” (doc. no. 110868).
Testemunho de Lina Bo Bardi sobre o período em que trabalhou no Nordeste brasileiro, de 1959 a 1964. Os textos de sua autoria e o roteiro que inclui outros autores que se dedicavam à leitura deste "Brasil-real" foram preparados em 1980 e abandonados em 1981. O Instituto Lina Bo Bardi concluiu o projeto editorial, sob a responsabilidade de Marcelo Suzuki. Lina Bardi realiza notável aprofundamento sobre o significado de arte popular, artesanato, pré-artesanato nordestino rudimentar e kitsch. Os outros autores e textos desta coletânea são: AMADO, Jorge. Exposição Bahia,1959; ZEVI, Bruno. Arte dos pobres apavora os generais, 1965; XAVIER, Lívio. O artesanato no Ceará, 1963; MOTTA, Flavio. 1970; HORA, Abelardo, 1963; FURTADO, Celso, 1967; ROCHA, Glauber, 1964; SOARES, Paulo Gil , 1964; SUASSUNA, Ariano, 1963.
Ver também:- "Bahia", 21 setembro a 31 de dezembro de 1959. V Bienal. Ibirapuera, São Paulo, - foi a primeira grande exposição de arte popular nordestina, organizada por Lina Bardi e Martim Gonçalves, com texto de Jorge Amado.-"Civilização do Nordeste", exposição no Museu de Arte Popular do Unhão, Salvador, 1963- A mão do povo brasileiro, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, 1969
d0- Artesanato e arte popular
e- Reflexões sobre arte e produção