Even Magazine

Issue 4: Summer 2016

Artists, musicians, intellectuals: in the years after 1964, when a junta took power in Brazil’s swooping new capital, much of the country’s cultural clan went into exile. Lina Bo Bardi stayed. The Italian-born architect, whose commanding art museum hangs over São Paulo’s Avenida Paulista, found little work for two decades. The military government closed her museum in Salvador. But Bo Bardi could not go back to Italy, not when her adopted country had given her art and life its form. “When one is born, one chooses nothing,” Bo Bardi said later. “I chose to live in this place. That’s why Brazil is my country twice over.”

She had a point. Even has taken a special interest in Brazil since our first issue, in which Silas Martí assessed the young artists of today’s Rio and São Paulo against five hundred years of colonial anthropology. Now, for this fourth issue, Martí undertakes a grand, urgent survey — a personal reckoning as much as a historical study — of Brazil’s artists and art institutions as the country reels from an impeachment, a recession, and an epidemic. The survey sits at the heart of a globetrotting number, which also examines the art of Asia’s combustible megacities, the hardening landscape of contemporary Istanbul, and the young talent of Australia. We’re all a bit jetlagged; our passports have had a workout; but making sense of art today requires nothing less.

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In Zauberberg, PILAR MATA DUPONT's polar reversal of Thomas Mann’s 1924 novel, we meet Rose, a young, hardy-seeming Australian woman, who has come to a Swiss sanatorium to visit her tubercular cousin. But the resident doctor finds a moist spot on her lung, and Rose checks into the alpine infirmary, where time becomes space and history stands still. They are colonials sick with modern Europe’s favorite disease, or wish they were, and they while away the years on the magic mountain, which Mata Dupont films with a disjunctive naturalism closer to Dogville than to Brecht’s epic theater. Rose and her cousin kiss through surgical masks; the snow falls softly on the valley below; then the century catches up with them, and with their country too.