Body Politic: Contemporary Art and Culture In Rio

Gondola lift, Complexo do Alemão, Rio de Janeiro, July 7, 2011.
“FOR THIS ISSUE’S Dispatch, Artforum goes south, to Rio de Janeiro—a city as defined by myths of sensualist extravagance as it is by horror stories of yesterday’s military dictatorship and today’s slum violence. Yet one does not have to subscribe to cliché to recognize that Rio is somehow singular; that, in the past half century alone, it has been a place of extraordinary innovation and devastation alike, from the decadent inventions of bossa nova and Tropicália to the human-rights abuses of the postwar period and the unsettling rise of the modern favela in the 1970s. Such paradoxical histories are still with us: This year, as Rio prepares to host the World Cup in June and gears up for the Summer Olympics in 2016, spending astronomical amounts on infrastructural changes and in many instances attempting to eradicate portions of the favelas, it also observes (without celebrating) the fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 coup that brought the military to power.”

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