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darksilenceinsuburbia:

Maciek Jasik
Bypassing the Rational


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darksilenceinsuburbia:

Maciek Jasik
Bypassing the Rational


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darksilenceinsuburbia:

Maciek Jasik
Bypassing the Rational


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darksilenceinsuburbia:

Maciek Jasik
Bypassing the Rational


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darksilenceinsuburbia:

Maciek Jasik
Bypassing the Rational


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darksilenceinsuburbia:

Maciek Jasik
Bypassing the Rational


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darksilenceinsuburbia:

Maciek Jasik
Bypassing the Rational


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darksilenceinsuburbia:

Maciek Jasik
Bypassing the Rational


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darksilenceinsuburbia:

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darksilenceinsuburbia:

Maciek Jasik
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portuguese-history:

Calçada Portuguesa - Portuguese Pavement Art
The origins of calçadas are somewhat unclear. The popularity of tiles in Portuguese art first exploded with the introduction of geometrical ceramic arts by the Moors. Decorated tilework, known in Portuguese as azulejo, soon came to cover houses and churches across the country. But the first recorded calçada was not the product of an artist’s whimsy, but as a makework project for prisoners thought up by an army officer.
In 1842, military commander Eusebius Furtado ordered inmates in the Castelo de São Jorge, a Lisbon prison, to cover its courtyard with a zig-zag pattern of tiles. The result attracted attention from as far away as Paris, inspiring none other than Louis Daguerre to make it the subject of one of the world’s earliest photographs. Seven years later, Furtado was given a commission to lay out a somewhat more sophisticated, wavy pattern known as “the wide sea” in Lisbon’s central Rossio square (pictured above, with D. Maria II Theater at the end). By 1895, use of calçadas was made mandatory for all new paving projects in the Portuguese capital.

This history makes the popularity of calçadas in Portugal’s former colonies slightly surprising. By the second half of the 19th century, Brazil had already achieved its independence, and Macau’s Golden Age, which flourished around the late 16th and 17th centuries, was long over.
But in Brazil, Old World style proved popular among the growing middle class, and calçadas flourished the newly laid out bourgeois suburbs of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, prevailing along such now-famous stretches as Copacabana Beach and the Avenida Paulista (known as the “Fifth Avenue of Brazil”). When Brazil’s new capital, Brasilia, was being planned in the 1960s, artists were employed to design calçadas with a contemporary twist.

Today the calçada seems to be making a slow retreat, not unlike the long dénouement of Portugal’s erstwhile empire. The mosaics require backbreaking labor to maintain, making the traditional art of the calceteiros both rare and expensive. The surfaces of calçada-paved streets and squares also tend to be treacherously slippery. São Paulo is tearing up the tiles along the Avenida Paulista and replacing them with a cheaper form of sidewalk.
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Photographed by Viviane Sassen for AnOther Magazine Fall 2012