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Livia Rezende

PhD Work

Title of dissertation: The Raw and the Manufactured: Brazilian Modernity and National Identity as Projected in International Exhibitions (1862–1922)


My PhD thesis discusses nineteenth– and early twentieth-century representations of Brazil with emphasis on national identity construction and the country’s engagement with modernity. It focuses on the national participations in key international exhibitions, from the London Exhibition (1862) to Rio’s Independence Centennial Exposition (1922). Employing a multidisciplinary theoretical and methodological framework, I examine ‘national objects’ — exhibits, exhibition displays, publications and pavilions — shown at home and abroad as indicators of ‘Brazilianess’. I question what national identity, or identities, these objects materialised and how they drove Brazilian experience of modernity. My thesis maintains that the Brazilian state and elite, during Empire and Republic, employed exhibitions for the affirmation and conservation of political power and to their own commercial benefit. Despite being a multi-racial and culturally diverse country, Brazil was represented largely as having nature but not people. Those who did not conform to the national ideal constructed and imposed by the Imperial and Republican states were excluded. Brazilian nature, in turn, was transformed, or manufactured, into artifices, to sustain the ideal of an Earth paradise that would endlessly supply raw materials to manufacturing nations.


Info

  • PhD

    School

    School of Fine Art

    Programme

    History of Design, 2006–2011

  • Title of dissertation: The Raw and the Manufactured: Brazilian Modernity and National Identity as Projected in International Exhibitions (1862–1922)


    My PhD thesis discusses nineteenth– and early twentieth-century representations of Brazil with emphasis on national identity construction and the country’s engagement with modernity. It focuses on the national participations in key international exhibitions, from the London Exhibition (1862) to Rio’s Independence Centennial Exposition (1922). Employing a multidisciplinary theoretical and methodological framework, I examine ‘national objects’ — exhibits, exhibition displays, publications and pavilions — shown at home and abroad as indicators of ‘Brazilianess’. I question what national identity, or identities, these objects materialised and how they drove Brazilian experience of modernity. My thesis maintains that the Brazilian state and elite, during Empire and Republic, employed exhibitions for the affirmation and conservation of political power and to their own commercial benefit. Despite being a multi-racial and culturally diverse country, Brazil was represented largely as having nature but not people. Those who did not conform to the national ideal constructed and imposed by the Imperial and Republican states were excluded. Brazilian nature, in turn, was transformed, or manufactured, into artifices, to sustain the ideal of an Earth paradise that would endlessly supply raw materials to manufacturing nations.


  • Degrees

  • MA, Graphic Design and Design History, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2003; BA (Hons), Graphic Design, Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1997
  • Experience

  • Lecturer (design theory and history), London Metropolitan University, 2010-11; Dissertation supervisor, University for the Creative Arts, Epsom, 2009-10; Lecturer (design history), University for the Creative Arts, Epsom, 2009; Production designer, IPC Media, London, 2004-7
  • Exhibitions

  • Research RCA: New Knowledge, Royal College of Art, 2010; Degree Show, Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1998; Mostra Pavão, Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1994-96
  • Awards

  • Winner, UK Society for Latin American Studies Conference Travel Prize, 2008; Winner, CAPES Foundation of Brazil Doctoral Award, 2007; Winner, Best Written Work on Design, Museu da Casa Brasileira Awards, 2005