Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

‘Brasilia’ by Arthur Mebius & Maarten Kools

Feb 20, 2018 - Maarten Kools

In 1956 Brazil decided to build a new capital City from scratch, exactly in the middle of the country, on the red earth of the Amazon. The urban-planner Lucio Costa made a plan, Oscar Niemeyer designed most of the public buildings and Roberto Marx was the landscape designer. The city is build on two axis: The Monumental Axis (east to west), representing the political activities and gouvernmental buildings,  and the Residential Axis (north to south), representing housing, schooling and recreation. Together forming a cross-shape city. The design was made in such a way that automobile traffic was a priority.

Brasilia was build in 40 months.

In 2008 Dutch photographers Arthur Mebius and Maarten Kools took there 4×5″ technical Camera and went to Brasilia to document the city before it would be renovated for the olympic games of 2016. What interested us was how a utopian plan for a city worked out for it’s residents and how these residents adapted the city for their own use. This was most of all visible in so-called ‘Elephant Paths’. ( paths made by people as unofficial routes, denying the utopian plan) . What was also of interest to us was the physical appearance of the city: Monumental concrete and steel buildings, inspired by the revolutionary architecture of Le Corbusier of the 1930’s.

Here now, for the first time, we show a selection of the photographs