Risky Spaces: essays by Otávio Leonídeo (Latin America: Thoughts #3) (Paperback)
The first subject is Lucio Costa. Both of the texts that focus on his ouevre ("Criticism and Crisis" and "In Search for the Words of Our Master") are developments of my doctoral dissertation, which I defended in 2005 at Pontif cia Universidade Cat lica do Rio de Janeiro. Whenever I addressed Costa's thinking, it was in order to understand how he managed to account for the questions that challenged the leaders of Brazilian modernist movement. And what became clear to me is that, without Costa's enunciations, Brazilian modern architecture as we know it would never have existed.
The second subject is Brazilian modern architecture itself - more specifically, the power of its presence in the contemporary scenario. "Cidade da M sica: The Invader," " lvaro Siza Vieira: Another Void" and "Risky Space" are all essays that take the architecture of Niemeyer, Reidy and the like as a bench mark for works as diverse as those of Christian de Portzamparc, lvaro Siza and Angelo Bucci. But the texts also convey the wish to problematize the notion of heritage itself - in this case, a heritage that always seemed more embarrassing than
beneficial to me. Hence my interest in the work of Lel - which, not by chance, constitutes the most relevant isolated fact in our contemporary output.
The third subject are the nexuses between contemporary art and architecture - phenomena that I address here either in tandem ("Moving Paths," "Guy Debord and Robert Smithson" and "The Foster-Eisenman Complex") or in standalone form ("History and the Real"). The main difference from the first two subjects is that in the latter case, Brazil ceases to be the main locus of enunciation. This choice reflects both a personal motivation (ridding myself of an atavistic localism) and the perception that, in order to address the contemporary, I had to muffle
the typically Brazilian that pervade the previous texts.
Text selection took shape in conversations with Abilio Guerra and Fernando Lara, with input from Silvana Romano.
Without their dedication this book would not exist.