> About Brasilia
, a group exhibition of vintage photographs celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the capital of Brazil, will be on view at 1500 Gallery September 9-November 27, 2010. Brazilian artist Murillo Meirelles presents discarded outtakes by 4 photojournalists depicting the planning, construction and inauguration of Brasilia from 1958-1960 (Brasilia replaced Rio de Janeiro as the capital of Brazil in 1960, and was planned and built completely from scratch in the very center of the country).
Consider, on one hand, Szarkowski's notion of art photography as the product of a creative process of selection and, on the other hand, artists such as Richard Prince and Thomas Ruff making photographs from other photographs. Somewhere between those notional extremes lies the creative process of curating an exhibition by selecting 8 images from among thousands of negatives in a forgotten archive. The images in this exhibition were originally shot by photojournalists on commission for magazines and for other documentary purposes. They highlight the idealism and optimism of Juscelino Kubitschek's socialist government and its team of visionary urban planners, architects and landscape designers including Lucio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer and Roberto Burle Marx. Much as Szarkowski transformed the work of Lartigue the child into a show of work by Lartigue the artist, Meirelles transforms the idealism of Brasilia's founders, by presenting iconic images of the city generations later and in a completely different context – and the timing couldn't be better, since now, 50 years later, Brazil is finally emerging on the global scene on a level consistent with the vision of those founders.