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Baroque-açu: Portuguese America in the art geography of the global South


The project Baroque-açu: Portuguese America in the art geography of the global South is an initiative that aims to continue the activities developed by the projeto jovem pesquisador Baroque encrypted: cultural plurality in art and architecture of the jesuit missions in the State of São Paulo, 1549-1759, funded by FAPESP, at the Department of History of Architecture at FAU USP from 2016 to 2021. In this phase, a line of research was implemented about artistic culture in America during the colonial period, supported by interdisciplinary collaboration with the areas of archeology, anthropology and the history of urbanization. The line promoted the updating of the contents of mandatory and optional subjects, and the creation of new ones, with the participation of national and foreign guest professors. It led to the formation of two inter-university study groups on the contributions of indigenous, Afro-Brazilians and Asian cultures to artistic production in Latin America. There was also regular organization of university extension activities, through two series of events open to the public on the same themes. During the five years of the FAPESP project, more than one hundred events were held and nineteen projects were supervised, including scientific initiations, masters, supervision and doctoral co-supervision in national and international institutions. The aim of this second project is not only to consolidate the results described above, but to contribute to redefine the place of Portuguese America in the artistic and cultural geography of the time of the first globalization, and, at the same time, deepen and extend the international insertion of research held at the University of São Paulo, continuing the cooperation with recognized institutions abroad, and with indigenous artists and traditional communities, which had already begun in the previous phase. Through an assessment of the results obtained, the study of the various artistic, geographical and cultural contexts, essential to understanding the transcultural manifestations of art and architecture in America, in a plural form, will be deepened. Hence the need to consider an expanded field of art and architecture, rethink global flows, in the light of local contexts within the Southern hemisphere, questioning anachronistic geographical boundaries and concepts, as well as outdated notions of center and periphery, inserting the theme in a long-term perspective. Brazil was a part of the global trade routes that connected the territories ruled by the Iberian monarchies in different areas of the world. It was also part of the worldwide network formed by the Jesuit missions. In these spaces, works were produced that reflected the local interpretation of aesthetic concepts and visual cultures and materials from distant regions. To achieve his purpose, the project intends not only to continue and expand investigations into the transit of prints, objects, artists, materials and techniques in the missions and their workshops, but also, based on these inquiries, to contribute to renew the perspectives about art and architecture history in Portuguese America and its connection with other regions of Hispanic America. The project also aims to promote research about historical and iconographic sources that allow the identification of indigenous, African and mestizo agency, essential factor in the translation of Asian and European models, and contribute to the understanding of the social and cultural function of objects and images in different contexts. (AU)

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