Embaixada de Portugal, Brasília

In the exhibition Só é possível se formos 2, in the Camões Gallery of the Portugal Embassy in Brasília, sculptor Fernanda Fragateiro invites us to look at the work of Lina Bo Bardi in a gesture that recovers the women architects, absent in the modernist discourse. Fragateiro revisits Lina’s work, particularly her Cadeira de Beira de Estrada [Roadside Chair] (1967), a vernacular object reread by the architect. Here, the Chair, as sculpture, enters into dialogue with the building’s architectural space and garden, both designed by Portuguese architect Raúl Chorão Ramalho.

Fernanda Fragateiro feeds her work on the basis of the archive and the archive is fed by the reading she makes. By bringing to the exhibition space a set of books, drawings and other materials that are part of her investigation, the sculptor shares keys for the reading of her work process with the reader-visitor, while also extending to him or her a renewed invitation to reflect on the work of Lina Bo Bardi, about archives, and about the inscription of the “other” in the construction of the space we inhabit.

With the enormous red chair, Fragateiro repeats the action by Lina Bo Bardi: interpreting the existing design of an artifact to sit on. Both artists manipulate the scale, increasing the size and redesigning how it is tied together; but Lina’s interpretation in 1967 and Fragateiro’s reinterpretation in 2021 deal with two totally different questions. While Lina appropriates the artifact as a vernacular solution – without an author – to resolve a practical subject (the everyday routine act of waiting in a rural setting in the tropical latitudes), Fernanda consciously and deliberately works on top of Lina’s authorship in a critical way, and with the proposal of not passively waiting but rather of actively reading, invites us to reflect and to take a stand.

Below, the exhibition catalog:


[text and images. cortesy of Atelier Fernanda Fragateiro. translate: John Norman]





Foto António Jorge Silva


Foto Telmo Ximenes


Foto Telmo Ximenes


Foto Telmo Ximenes


Foto Telmo Ximenes


Foto Telmo Ximenes


Foto Telmo Ximenes

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Foto Telmo Ximenes