With this publication, Paulo Tavares intervenes in ‘Habitat’—the arts and design magazine edited by Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi in the 1950s. At the time, the magazine propagated images of modern art and architecture, but also images of popular and Indigenous crafts and artifacts. In this way, it simultaneously introduced its audience to the vocabulary of modernism and vernacular and native forms of cultural expression.
In ‘Des-Habitat’, Brazilian architect, curator, and activist Tavares investigates how the aesthetic language of ‘Habitat’ framed such objects and images. The project mobilizes a series of design strategies central also to ‘Habitat’ itself, such as re-appropriation, collage, and displacement. By focusing on the context from which materials were originally taken Tavares shows how, by virtue of its modern visual language, ‘Habitat’ functioned as a framing device to conceal its own coloniality—a suspenseful media history in light of suppression, complicity, and decolonization.