Cultural Transfers #2
Cut & Mix. Contemporary Art from Peru and Chile
With great enthusiasm for detail the Chilean artist and autodidact Leonardo Portus creates two and three dimensional architectural models that are subjective narrations of history. The period of radical social changes in the 1960s and early 1970s was tightly connected with the construction of social housing projects in Chile. Their architecture was inspired by modernism, by the ideas of Le Corbusier Oscar Niemeyer and Walter
Gropius among others. However, these urban developments were brought to a sudden end by the military coup in 1973. Leonardo Portus’s extraordinary works on architecture refer to traces of this part of Chile’s history. His work "5 Lugares de Santiago/5 Places in Santiago" (2002) for example presented model reconstructions of places that had been erased from the face of the city after 1973. During a short residency in Berlin, Portus explored the city’s architecture. On photographs he documented his visits to the Corbusier building near the Olympic Stadium, various building complexes around Frankfurter Allee as well as the Hansaviertel. Back in Santiago de Chile, he discovered a second-hand book entitled Arquitectura Actual from 1960 containing a detailed report on Oscar Niemeyer’s building in Berlin’s Hansaviertel, which Portus had visited only a couple of days earlier. For the exhibition "Cut & Mix", Leonardo Portus created five different models of this building by the Brazilian architect in "Transferencia" – one of the great visionaries and a key figure of Latin American modernism.