procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gaudí en la favela

a few years ago i stumbled upon a documentary about a guy in a brazilian favela who had been decorating it in a style uncannily like Gaudí. like all those living in the slums of brazil (he lives in sao paulo), he built his house from things he found, but in his case there was a tree on his 'property'*, which he incorporated into his dwelling, and it has gone from there.
bbc has a good report on their website here

the info for the doco is here, i'm pretty sure i watched it on abc, but it's probably pretty hard to find.

i love the creativity, the organic nature of his art, the unpretentiousness of it all (he trawls through building sites for things to keep adding to it). it reminds me of the refrain in Gen 1, where creation is to be fruitful and multiply - the creation keeps on creating with its God-given createdness. that is, Ezekiel's perfect temple is beautiful, but that perfect architecture gives way in Revelation to the perfect presence of God with us, and the river that feeds the trees that bring life and healing.

i love cities, but my favourite description of metropopli (?) comes from the sociologist Max Weber, who looked down from a sky-scraper and from there saw the city as an ecosystem, everything organically reacting to each other element. it's therefore not surprising to see the mixing of the metaphors of perfect city and garden, rather very fitting!

* i don't think favelas can ever be official even though there are millions living in them, they're 'domus non grata' (i don't actually speak latin, but that's my best guess!)

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