• Brasília, Cars, Pools and Other Modernities, 2009-2013 Volkswagen Brasilia, cleaning pool equipment, single-channel video, photographs, book, aluminum

  • Brasília, Cars, Pools and Other Modernities, 2009-2013

  • Brasília, Cars, Pools and Other Modernities, 2009-2013

Maintaining Cars, Pools, and Other Modernities: Clarissa Tossin's Brasilia

Mariola V. Alvarez

          Over the years since its construction, Brasilia, the national capital of Brazil since 1960, has not attracted many artists to make work that reflects on the city, especially when compared to the nation’s other major urban centers Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro. This is striking given the history of Brasilia. Since the resettlement of the Portuguese crown in Brazil in 1808, and continuing through national independence in 1822, Brazilian leaders considered building a capital city away from the coastal areas. The first two capitals of Brazil. Salvador in the northeast then Rio de Janeiro in the southeast, functioned as major port cities, which made them vulnerable to human invasion and natural storms. With the election of President Kubitscheck in 1956 the dream deferred became a national rally for a country under development, and remarkably, after four years of rapid construction, Brasilia was inaugurated. The city received international attention for its modern urban plan and its architecture and for the achievement constructing a whole new city in an empty savanna. Perhaps the most famous and widely circulated images of Brasilia belong to the French photographer Marcel Gautherot who worked closely with the architect of Brasilia, Oscar Niemeyuer, to capture the city in its realization.

To read the rest of this essay and see more of Clarissa Tossin's work, purchase the issue here.