The exhibition design of the show “Marcel Gautherot: modern records of the invention of Pampulha” seeks to be a response to the architecture of Casa do Baile (Oscar Niemeyer, 1943) and was conceived from this pre-existence, or from that quintessential modern architectural space.
Project Name: Marcel Gautherot
Studio Name: Vazio S/A
Location: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Photography: Eduardo Eckenfels
Project size: 350 m2
Site size: 1000 m2
Completion date: 2020
Building levels: 1
The plan of Casa do Baile’s hall is circular, and its circle is defined by a sequence of masonry and glass arches. Like the exhibition we propose, which is also made of arches. In dialogue with the limits of the hall, they define new concave and convex environments, or curved spaces within a curved space. They are panels that dialogue with CB’s architecture and add movements to the exhibition, inducing the visitor to go through the four sides of the arches and creating different passages of space – either narrow or open and wide.
The convex sides face the building’s masonry arch where the exhibition credits are installed, the starting point of the visit. These convex sides are always smooth, while the concave sides are always “constructive”, revealing their structure and skeleton.
M. Gautherot (1910-1996) was a modernist photographer known for this pictures of Brasilia under construction that epitomize an era of dreams and promises. The exhibition about the Franco-Brazilian photographer was curated by Marconi Drummond and Carlos M Teixeira. Graphic design: Marcelo Drummond, production: InstitutoPeriférico, support: Instituto Moreira Salles.
Franco-Brazilian Curatorial Statement Marcel Gautherot (1910-1996) was one of Brazil’s great photographers. A Parisian curious about that country, he arrived there in 1939 with the idea of getting to know the Amazon, the Northeast and Rio de Janeiro. He established himself in the then capital in 1940, where he soon approached modernist artists, architects and intellectuals, and where he died at the age of 86 after registering the people and folklore and architecture of Brazil in 25,000 images taken with his 6×6 cm Rolleiflex camera.
Gautherot fell in love with architecture and popular manifestations and knew how to combine these two passions like none of his contemporaries. Parallel to the photos that explored the seduction of the curves of Brazilian modernism, he developed a multiple vocation to register construction and life, events and buildings, process and result.
His sensibility as an architect led him to register the main national constructions of the last century, while his sensibility as an anthropologist engendered his project of photographing the popular traditions from North to South.
Despite dedicating his life to an admirable personal project, only recently has his work received the attention it deserves, which started with the purchase of the complete collection by the photographer by Instituto Moreira Salles in 1999.
This exhibition is divided into four panels corresponding to four photographic essays: Pampulha, Brasília and Sacolândia, Bom Jesus de Matosinhos Shrine in Congonhas, and Palafitas in the North region. With this curatorial approach, we intend to show the work of an interpreter of modern architecture who was also attentive to popular architecture, of an author who knew how to praise public palaces without forgetting the masons and riverside dwellers.
An artist attentive both to popular traditions and to the promises of an impelling modernity, for him Brazil was never one. For the conservative modernity of the country is really made of two layers – the archaic and the new – always overlapping and never separated.