segunda-feira, outubro 29, 2007

CRÔNICA/Oscar Niemeyer, 100

A princípio, este blog somente publica textos em português, nossa língua adorada. Mas a revista Zoo, que chegou às bancas neste mês, e tem sede na Alemanha, cometeu o despautério de publicar três - isto mesmo, três! - textos meus em inglês em sua última edição. Uma pequena memória, bem pessoal, sobre o grande Oscar Niemeyer, uma visão de um não-especialista em moda sobre a São Paulo Fashion Week (SPFW) e um bate-papo com os designers e irmãos Fernando e Humberto Campana. Aqui embaixo segue o primeiro texto, sobre doutor Oscar. As imagens das reportagens sobre os Campana e a São Paulo Fashion Week são de meu talentoso amigo Victor Affaro:

Ode To Oscar

A Tribute to Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer
By Eduardo Graça

I was 14 when I first met Oscar Niemeyer. He was walking on a pile of concrete debris in a square located in an industrial city in Rio de Janeiro state. It was 1988 and Brazil was a three- year old democracy. An obscure rightist group had just claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Niemeyer monument inaugurated the previous day. It had been built to serve as a memorial for three workers who died in a strike. More than the image of the small old man perched on what used to be his own art, what astonished me was his serene decision not to rebuild his beloved piece. He left it there in all its bruised glory, and included a single inscription at the bottom of the mess: “Nothing, not even the bomb that destroyed this monument, is able to stop the ones who fight for Justice and Freedom."

Niemeyer was 98 the second time I met him, two years ago. Still working daily, the architect who built Brasília talked about his new projects: an aquatic center in Potsdam, Germany, and an impressive series of public buildings, including a cathedral and a public theater, facing Rio on the other side of Guanabara Bay. He was pleased to find out that his destroyed monument remained untouched, serving as one of the main attractions in the city where I was raised.

Niemeyer's architecture is unique, at once international and deeply Brazilian. The cold rationality of his concrete-based buildings is juxtaposed by curves - his suave rendition of the of the beautiful women walking on Ipanema beach. He is our last communist. He is the myth of the Latin lover, but a real one, in love again at the age of 100. He is one of the symbols of the 20th century. He is also intensely 21st century. He is a sweet radical. He reads fiction and despises art theory. But he loves to talk about philosophy. He is a prophet, but lives like the Everyman. His art, still alive, comes from these opposite forces. Not unlike Brazil, with its singular mix of kindness and brutality.

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