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Tropical Modernisms: Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Beyond

Oct 29, 2020
9:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Speakers: Sean Anderson, Fabiola Lopez-Duran, and Ana Maria Tavares

Thu 29 Oct, 9PM HKT
Zoom ID: 880 5567 1667
Password: 917769
In English
Moderated by Cosmin Costinas, Para Site Executive Director/Curator


In this presentation, contemporary Brazilian artist Ana Maria Tavares and art and architectural historian Fabiola López-Durán will discuss their collaborative research and curatorial practice, which interrogate the work of modernist figures including Adolf Loos, Le Corbusier, Lina Bo Bardi, Oscar Niemeyer, and the landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. Tavares and López-Durán’s investigations on Brazilian modernism uncovers the complicity between the utopian project of eugenics and the construction of the built environment in Brazil.

Sean Anderson, Associate Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA, will discuss Sri Lankan modernism and figures such as Minette de Silva, Geoffrey Bawa, and 43 Group.  The discussion will be moderated by Cosmin Costinas.


About the speakers

Sean Anderson is Associate Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art. He has practiced as an architect and taught in Afghanistan, Australia, India, Italy, Morocco, Sri Lanka and the U.A.E. His second book, In-Visible Colonies: Modern Architecture and its Representation in Colonial Eritrea (2015) was nominated for an AIFC Book Prize in Non-Fiction. Earlier this year, he co-curated the exhibition On Muzharul Islam: Surfacing Intention at the Dhaka Art Summit. At MoMA, he has organized the exhibitions Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter (2016-17), Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959-89 (2017-18) as well as collaborative collection displays including Surrounds (2019), Inner and Outer Space (2019-20) and Building Citizens (Present). Sean manages the Young Architects Program (YAP) and the Issues in Contemporary Architecture series, with the next exhibition opening in February 2021 organized with Mabel O. Wilson, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America.


Fabiola López-Durán is Associate Professor of Art History, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Magister of Hanszen College at Rice University. Adopting a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective, Fabiola López-Durán’s research and teaching focuses on the history and theory of modern and contemporary European and Latin American art and architecture. Her work analyzes the cross-pollination of ideas and mediums—science, politics and aesthetics—that informed the process of modernization on both sides of the Atlantic, with an emphasis on Latin America. Originally trained as an architect, López-Durán earned her Ph.D in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her work has been published in Europe, Asia, South America and the United States, including the 2018 book Eugenics in the Garden.


Ana Maria Tavares has taught at the university level since 1982, beginning her career at FAAP – Fundação Armando Álvares Pentead. Her first solo show was Objetos e Interferências at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, in 1982. She has participated in four editions of the International São Paulo Biennial (1983, 1987,  1991 and 2000). She has shown internationally and select solo exhibitions include: Middelburg Airport Lounge com Parede Niemeyer (Holland, 2001); Entrückte Körper – GRU/TXL (Germany, 2002);  Landscape for Exit I and Exit II (Portugal, 2005); Cristal Waters (Holland, 2008); and Deviating Utopias at The Frist Center for the Arts (USA, 2013), among others. Tavares has also participated in many international group shows, such as Neo-Tropicália at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (USA, 2009); Colección IX. Colección Fundación ARCO, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (Spain, 2014); Spots, Dots, Pips, Tiles: An Exhibition About Dominoes, Perez Museum (USA, 2017), among others. The artist is represented by many private collectors and public collections.

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