Inti Guerrero : Flavio de Carvalho and his City for the Naked Man

Open Lecture


Flávio de Carvalho:

design drawing of New Look; Summer Fashion for a New Man of the Tropics

Experiência no.3, 1956, downtown São Paulo

In 1930 artist and architect Flavio de Carvalho (1899-1973), known to be the enfant terrible of Brazil’s avant-garde, proposed to build a new city in the tropics that would have no god, property, nor marriage.

He envisioned an urban scenario for a ‘naked mankind’ that would have stripped itself from its cultural body, or in his words, a man without ‘scholastic taboos, free for reasoning and thinking’ in order to begin a painstaking process of wonderment, change and self-transformation.

De Carvalho’s utopia was set to be a constellation of centres and laboratories; the city’s ‘Laboratory of erotica’, was thought of as a place where ‘the naked man would select his own erotic forms, […] where he could orient his energy toward any direction, without repression; where he would fulfil his desires, discover new desires.’

By understanding the experience of sexuality as a kind of libido without a predetermined perspective, that is, without a predetermined constructed desire, but as a continuous rhizomatic experience, which would bifurcate according to the individual’s subjectivity, Flavio de Carvalho, by 1930 seemed to propose an architectural ‘blueprint’ which sought to dissolve any socio-cultural fixation regarding people’s sexuality and corporality.

In 2010, curator, Inti Guerrero, created a group exhibition titled ‘The City of the Naked Man’ at the Museum of Modern Art of Sao Paulo, which embarked on a curatorial translation of Flavio de Carvalho’s aforementioned transgressive spirit. .

The exhibition included: works by international contemporary artists; documentation of a 1956 street performance by Flavio de Carvalho, where he cross-dressed to a tropical male fashion he’d designed; and other cultural artefacts and manifestations related to the subject, such as visual and musical material of Brazil’s rock-glam singer Ney Matogrosso. Guerrero will first give an art historical background to the practice of De Carvalho, and share the curatorial grammar he built up in order to touch upon other key subtexts within ‘Brazilian culture’ such as the Antropofagia avant-garde, the construction of Brasilia and the counter-culture movement of Tropicalia.

This event is free and open to all

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    TrAIN Open Series

    The TrAIN Open series is a forum for invited speakers to present exhibition, publication, and research projects in the form of lectures, discussions and screenings.

    Taking place at fortnightly intervals on Wednesday evenings during the academic term, the series is open to the public, as well as staff and students across the University of the Arts London.
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  • Inti Guerrero

    Guest Speaker - TrAIN Open

    Inti Guerrero is an Amsterdam based art critic and curator born in Bogotá, Colombia. He has published in Afterall (London), Ramona (Buenos Aires) and ArtNexus (Bogota).
    Find out more about Inti Guerrero