In 1959, Italian architect Lina Bo Bardi and Brazilian playwright Martim Gonçalves designed and curated Bahia no Ibirapuera (Bahia in Ibirapuera) in the context of the São Paulo Biennial. This larger event was staged as a celebration of Brazil’s modernity, with a global selection of abstract art works housed in a building designed by the architect of the state. Countering this triumphal narrative, Bo Bardi and Gonçalves presented everyday artifacts of the northeastern state of Bahia as markers of active, popular agency. The exhibition was a provocation to the biennial, and a contrast, in both form and content, to the prior trajectory of the Italian architect. While recent celebrations of Bo Bardi’s life and work have elided these contradictions and their motivations, this presentation examines them in order to complicate the architect’s narrative and present her practice, and the practice of architecture and scholarship at large, as a series of political choices.
Goldsmith Interviews is a series of faculty-led video interviews with visiting lecturers at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. Each semester, the School’s Lectures and Exhibitions Committee invites international experts in the fields of architecture, architectural history, community and regional planning, historic preservation, interior design, landscape architecture, sustainable design, urban design, and other allied disciplines to share career highlights and a range of models for practice. Goldsmith Interviews features short conversations with these experts, filmed before they take the stage for their public lectures.