Modern Masterpieces Revisited

Luís Santiago Baptista

This is the catalogue of the exhibition Modern Masterpieces Revisited by Luís Santiago Baptista, which was on view at Galeria da Boavista between 18 February and 31 March 2016. This exhibition has been organized by NOTE – Galeria de Arquitectura within the context of the 3rd Architecture Season. A bilingual edition, this volume contains installation views as well as an essay by Luís Santiago Baptista, and texts by João Mourão, exhibition curator Bárbara Silva, as well as by Pedro Gadanho, Jorge Figueira and Susana Ventura.

“This book closes the third Architectural Season in the Gallery, as part of the exhibition Modern Masterpieces Revisited of Luís Santiago Baptista. An exhibition that reaffirms the “post” condition in which we live, post-ideological, post-critical, injecting us new ideas and scenarios to think about. I could say that buildings are in permanent construction as the institutions and cultural spaces should be.”
– João Mourão

“In this context, one of the critical thoughts that is evident in “Modern Masterpieces Revisited Series” is that, probably, modern architecture was not capable of designing a more just and equal society through ordered, rational forms, because its architects were not capable of abdicating their individual aspirations on behalf of the collectives.”
– Bárbara Silva

“As a result, just as an architectural critic rebuilds his or her views on architecture with each new writing task, exhibition-making now offers a rich and complex medium in which to pursue and express these same views. Given the evolution of the notion of curating described above, a personal critical project may today evolve through the media of exhibitions or other cultural endeavours, recurring to successive themes and subjects so as to continue a coherent critical reflection on architectural production.”
– Pedro Gadanho

“How can we interrogate our current architectural and urban condition in the twilight of theory? The so-called post-ideological and post-critical situation puts architectural theory in crisis, threatening its critical program and reducing its field of action. The Modern Masterpieces Revisited series is a response to this post-condition. Modern Masterpieces Revisited explores and exploits the aura of modern architectural objects, developing singular points of view, critical perspectives and radical scenarios that take iconic modern objects as devices.”
– Luís Santiago Baptista

“In Modern Masterpieces Revisited, LSB speaks to us of an unbridgeable distance between the architects and the people in the street, or “reality”, a connection that retains only distorted echoes in these vandalized or transformed buildings. It supposes a world of fallen icons, with the “caste” punished and the “star-system” decapitated, giving rise to a purification by which architecture may be reborn.”
– Jorge Figueira

“The process of activating these images seems to demand, equally, a nullification of the individual histories of these works. Not the histories we know from the History of Architecture – for all intents and purposes it is there that the author begins to, then, add another chapter based upon critical interpretation – whose own methodology implies that nullification of the individual as expressive matter to reach the collective, and, at that moment, constitute itself as universal.”
– Susana Ventura

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