British Council gallery opens to the public with Lina Bo Bardi: Together
12 September 2012
A major UK showcase of the influential work of architect Lina Bo Bardi has been chosen to open the British Council’s new public gallery space.
The British Council is proud to present Lina Bo Bardi: Together, a film and art installation that celebrates the work of the Italian architect, whose influence in Brazil has earned her an impressive and previously under-acknowledged legacy.
Bo Bardi, who moved to Brazil in 1946, translated her ideas for a better society into innovative buildings such as SESC Pompéia and MAM BA, which had social responsibility at the forefront of their designs.
Created jointly by curator Noemi Blager with the Dutch artist Madelon Vriesendorp and film-maker Tapio Snellman, this video and art installation aims to create a more direct experience of Lina’s projects through a form of re-enactment, bringing a London audience closer to the experience of Lina’s buildings in their urban environment.
Noemi Blager said: "This exhibition is about the life generated in Lina's projects and what inspired them. We see this as a tribute to Lina's approach which always prioritised content over form. We did not want to do a static retrospective but rather a more experiential installation which we hope will give the visitor a sense of the energy in her work."
Together, sponsored by Arper, pays tribute to Bo Bardi’s capacity to engage with every facet of culture and to see the potential in all manner of people. In collaboration with people from the community of the Solar do Unhão in Salvador, Madelon Vriesendorp has conducted workshops combining the objects made there with others of her own and artefacts by Brazilian craftspeople. Artist Tapio Snellman’s film installation explores the life generated by SESC Pompéia within São Paulo and draws parallels with the city of Salvador.
Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture, Design and Fashion at the British Council says: “We're delighted to host this exhibition at the British Council which so vividly demonstrates shared ideas between cultures as integral to innovation in the arts. Lina Bo Bardi was inspired to create her best work in Brazil and the exhibition creates an opportunity for us to discuss shared issues in the arts with Brazilian colleagues and show how British artists and designers have been inspired by her architecture.”
Assemble, a London-based collective of architects and designers have taken over the outside entrance space of the British Council to house part of the installation. Assemble’s work reflects Bo Bardi’s vision for socially responsible design, and this new work follows their award-winning previous transformations of disused spaces in London into arts venues.
Together is sponsored by Arper, a Treviso-based furniture manufacturer that is launching a showroom in London this Autumn. The pursuit of the essential, the ability to innovate and to place people at the centre of every project are core values for both Arper and Bo Bardi and therefore draw close links to the project, both in terms of financial sponsorship and on a more creative level.
Notes to Editors:
Open to the public from 10 September to 30 November 2012
10 Spring Gardens
In conjunction with Lina Bo Bardi: Together the ICA will host a day of seminars on Saturday 10 November to discuss Lina Bo Bardi and her work in a wider context.
Speakers include Tony Fretton, Rowan Moore, Renato Anelli, Architect and Professor of the University of Sao Paulo, Marcelo Ferraz and Marcelo Suzuki, both architects and former associates of Lina Bo Bardi.
Alex Bratt, Senior Press Officer, British Council +44 (0) 207 389 4872
Instituto LBPMB and SESC SP
About the British Council
The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.
Our 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.
We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of nearly £700 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%. We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose.
Assemble are a young, critically acclaimed practice of Artists, Designers and Architects based in London with a strong track record of developing successful public spaces in difficult urban situations. Their work focuses on using design as a tool to improve social and cultural life, and is committed to uncovering the extraordinary opportunities and potential pleasures that exist on the fringes of everyday life and the built environment.
With involvement ranging between brief development, design, organising events and hands-on construction, their work is underpinned by the belief that more thorough involvement gives in richer results. Their projects have been characterised by inspiring ownership through use, occupation and public involvement.
Their previous projects include: The Cineroleum, a pilot project for the re-use of the UK’s 4,000 empty petrol stations; Folly for a Flyover, a temporary community building underneath a motorway; Central Parade, a town centre regeneration scheme in Croydon; amongst many others. Assemble’s work has been nominated for many awards including the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year Award (2012), the New London Architecture Awards (2012), the Condé Nast Traveller Awards (2011) and listed in The Observer’s ‘Top Ten Architectural Moments of the Year’ (2010 and 2011).
The Lina Bo Bardi: Together exhibition is supported by Arper, the Treviso-based furniture company which is also launching a new showroom in London this Autumn. Arper wants to be more than a new design presence in London – it also wants to contribute to the culture, to be embedded in the design community, share its history and ethos and start some new conversations.
As part of this cultural outreach, Arper is the sole sponsor of Lina Bo Bardi: Together as it identifies with the spirit of Bo Bardi’s design and love of functional forms. The pursuit of the essential, the ability to innovate and to place people at the centre of every project are core values for both Arper and Bo Bardi and therefore these close links drew Arper to the project, both in terms of financial sponsorship and on a more creative level.
Committed to outstanding craftsmanship, innovation and collaboration, Arper was founded in 1989, evolving from the tradition of leatherworking into an international furniture design company, investing in new technologies and new materials. From 2000 onwards, Arper has experienced constant growth in business and organizational structure; today Arper is capable of interpreting the requests and trends of an international market with a sophisticated contemporary pared-down style translated into timeless universal forms suitable for every setting, whether residential or contract. Arper is distributed via an international sales network in over 90 Countries and displayed in single-brand showrooms situated in design-strategic cities.