Brasilia and Chandigarh, two capitals, two monuments to modernism. Brasilia, the administrative capital of Brazil was built by Oscar Niemeyer in the late 1950s. Chandigarh built more or less simultaneously by Le Corbusier in India. Two dream cities by two world-famous architects: Niemeyer built Brasilia in the Brazilian savannah and Le Corbusier went to the foot of the Himlayas in India for his architectural tour-de-force. Now, almost half a century later, both cities lie uneasily in the landscape like concrete memorials to the ideals of their creators, gestures of post-colonial independence and visions of future national identities lie unrealized. As three fictional characters roam restlessly through these two enormously grand signs of modernity, the geometries of Brasilia and Chandigarh coalesce into the fabric of the film. As drawings and maps materialize, a sense of dialogue between the two cities is created.
Louidgi Beltrame’s work is based on documenting modes of human organisation throughout the history of the 20th century. He travels to sites defined by their paradigmatic relation to modernity: Hiroshima, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Chandigarh, Chernobyl or the island based mining colony of Gunkanjima, long abandoned in the sea off Nagasaki. His films – based on the recording of reality and the constitution of an archive – appeal to fiction as a possible way to consider history.
This event was presented in partnership with the Consulate General of France in Toronto with support from the Institut français as part of Paris-Toronto.
Vtape presents Louidgi Beltrame’s Brasilia and Chandigarh as part of the Images Festival 2013 Off Screen. For a complete listing of the Images Festival programming, see www.imagesfestival.com
Still credit: Brasilia and Chandigarh, Louidgi Beltrame.