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Construção popular


bambu e barro | bamboo and clay, 88x80x37 cm

série Popular (1983 - 1988)

Essex Collection of Art from Latin America. Donated by Martha Niklaus 1995

At first glance, it is easy to see Construção popular as a didactic tool, a cut away model of the building technique pau-a-pique (wattle and daub) so often found in ethnographic museums. This is a means of construction available to the majority of people. The materials, earth and bamboo, are easily come by and essentially free. Even in the age of concrete and steel, with these materials it is possible to build a durable home, whether in the countryside or even in the city. As such Construção popular stands as a unifying symbol of ‘popular’ Brazilian culture. It links people not only through space, but through time. Scratch the surface of Brazil’s elegant coffee fazendas and Baroque churches and they are often held together with pau-a-pique. This technology, known to Portuguese settlers, but also the original inhabitants of Brazil, the fundamental, elementary nature of Construção popular also serves as an emblem of the universality of Brazilian culture. Still, the marginalisation of the majority and their fragile existence is suggested by the protruding ‘wing’ in this piece, which hangs in the mid-air, stunted, with no-where to go. Or perhaps it is breaking away, forging a new future away from the matrix of the Brazilian state, wise to its empty and unfulfilled promise.

Joanne Harwood, 2000

Exhibitions :

29 April 2021 - 27 May 2021
Lives Streams is guest curated by entre—ríos: Dr Lisa Blackmore (School of Philosophy & Art History and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Essex), Diego Chocano (Assistant Curator of ESCALA/University Art Collections) and Emilio Chapela (Artist and Research Assistant)., UK

Essex Collection of Art from Latin America // Modernity and Identity

7 November 2002 - 3 December 2002

Works by Carla Guagliardi, Martha Niklaus, and Annare Smith incorporate this aspect of the modern city, expelled from the rigours of town planning, into the way  ...

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Essex Collection of Art from Latin America // Outros 500

20 January 2000 - 1 October 2000

Martha Niklaus (1961 - ) · Construção popular, 1984; Popular Construction; Sculpture; 84-1995. Machado · Milton Machado (1947 - ) · Edifício-Galaxie (sobre a ...

Exhibition Catalogue: Outros 500

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Essex Collection of Art from Latin America // Horizontes Cambiantes

26 March 1999 - 13 June 1999

Martha Niklaus (1961 - ) · Construção popular, 1984; Popular Construction; Sculpture; 84-1995. Niebla · Eulises Niebla (1963 - ) · Verde, 1993; Green; Sculpture ...

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Continuum: Brazilian Art, 1960s-1990s

13 November 1995 - 15 December 1995

The names of Carla Guagliardi, Cildo Meireles, Cristina Salgado, Martha Niklaus, Milton Machado and Sonia Labouriau, have been added to our collection of ...

Exhibition Catalogue: Continuum Brazilian Art 1960s-1990s 

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