Art Histories Seminar
Mo 13 Feb 2017 | 10:00–12:00

From Brasília to Quezon City – and from Manila to Rio de Janeiro: (Post-)Colonial Brazilian and Philippine arts

Jens Baumgarten (Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin

Cesar Concio, Church of the Risen Lord, Quenzo City.
Cesar Concio, Church of the Risen Lord, Quenzo City.

The Philippines are one of the most destroyed countries in the Second World War – especially the capital Manila. Not only its destruction but also the memory of violence around the so called “last battle of Manila” in early 1945, where many atrocities, massacres and mass rape happened, transformed the place that was called “the pearl of Asia” into a memory of dystopia. In the following years not only a new capital was planned and executed – a capital in exile. But also many catholic sanctuaries looked for a place in exile. In this paper I would like to reflect about the architecture and the visual artes how this kind of internal exile was constructed and how this process of negation of memory or a even a suppression of it was developed.

The creation of a new capital, Quezon-City was executed by following partly the Brazilian example of Brasília and its planning urbanists Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa. In this context it is especially interesting to analyze how in both countries the colonial heritage was re-appropriated. This leads also to the methodological and theoretical question how it is possible to construct a comparative art history for a transcultural and transhistorical approach.

Jens Baumgarten is Professor of Art History at the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he founded the first autonomous department for Art History in Brazil. In 2010 he was visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute and in 2013 he was CAS Junior Researcher in Residence at the CAS in Munich. In 2016 he was member of the steering group of the Transregional Academy on Modernities in São Paulo. At the moment he is fellow at the KHI Florence.

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