Fotoclubismo and the Sound of Modern Brazil

Get swept up in rhythms inspired by MoMA’s exhibition of modern Brazilian photography.
Tiê Higashi May 25, 2021
We recommend listening to this playlist on shuffle.

Entre no clima dos ritmos do Brasil inspirados pela exposição do MoMA de fotografia moderna brasileira.

Fotoclubismo: Brazilian Modernist Photography, 1946–1964 captures unique photographic visions from an important period in the history of Brazil. The 1950s were marked by the construction of the country’s new capital, Brasilia, a symbol not only of modern architectural achievement, but of an ascendant nation experiencing the greatest economic prosperity in years. Put simply, Brazil was modernizing itself. And it was no different with photography (as evidenced by the pictures presented in the exhibition) and music. In 1946, the show’s starting point, Brazilian culture was very much informed by a traditionalist, colonial heritage, but Brazil was at the doorstep of a “golden decade” that would be defined in part by such cultural milestones as the rise of bossa nova, an explosion in abstract photography, and the global impact of Oscar Niemeyer’s architecture. Sadly, many of these cultural movements—along with the country’s surge in prosperity—came to an end or moved underground after the military coup of 1964. This playlist aims to capture something of this brief era of Brazilian euphoria—the traditions of samba and popular songs, and the power of music as a form of political resistance and spiritual renewal.

Fotoclubismo: Brazilian Modernist Photography, 1946–1964, organized by Sarah Hermanson Meister, Curator, with Dana Ostrander, Curatorial Assistant, Robert B. Menschel Department of Photography, is on view through September 26, 2021.