Spiritism, Modernism, Architecture
How does the ideology of modernism relate to other mystical paradigms? Dutch artist Jonas Staal’s newest book explores the relationship between Spiritism—a popular 19th-century religious doctrine involving séances and assorted paranormal phenomena—and modernism in Brazilian architecture. Central to this book is a systematic comparison between the fictive Spiritist city of Nosso Lar, as described by well-known medium Chico Xavier, and the country’s real-life capital Brasília, designed by Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer in 1956. Brazilian psychic Xavier receives his messages from the other side in the form of best-selling novels, one of which describes the spirit colony of Nosso Lar. Written in 1944, Xavier’s book Astral City includes detailed drawings and guides to the built environment of the city that artist Jonah Staal uses as his rubric to examine just how similar the idealized Nosso Lar and the utopian Brasília actually are.
English & Portuguese / Hardcover
5 x 7 1/2 inches / 160 pp / 49 b&w and 9 color
Retail Price: $25.00