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Símiles

As the capital known for its modernist markings, Brasília is often portrayed through the unique and unusual buildings of Niemeyer as an undeniable focus. To explore each abstract musing from the famous architect is considered a definite direction for many photographers; especially when choosing the central area of the city as the site to extract precious images. However, what happens in residential areas? No urbanist nor enthusiast should ignore the blatantly original neighbourhoods and, deceptively, casual buildings that fills the South and North Wings of the city.

Photographer José Roberto Bassul dared to turn his camera in an unusual direction; a not entirely surprising decision considering his parallel profession as an urbanist. Accounting years dealing with the in-and-outs of the modernist city, his return to photography — after nearly 30 years away from it — payed off with incredible results. The series Símiles plays off the idea of similarity and stark geometry as absolute. A masterfully minimalist visual composition comes forth, with unabashed shadow play and irrefutable precision in light.

The striking compositions display a unique and fresh perspective, as Bassul disregards the famous façades of the buildings — some undeniably astounding in their own terms — he manages to cast a strong spotlight on the backstage side. Making the most of the ‘corridor’ between two anonymous edifices, each of the five different perspectives bestows surprising variety in texture and dynamism.

Bassul shows with a graceful and candid perspective why he is an award-winning artist. Truly a remarkable masterstroke to transform two 6-storey-high residential buildings into immaculate skyscrapers.

2016.10.25 Mateus Andrade

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