Approaching its centenary, the Brazilian modernist event Semana de Arte Moderna, which took place in February 1922 in São Paulo, is about to unequivocally become a milestone. The story of its consecration, though, is tortuous and written through different lines of action. Almost a hundred years after the event, paradoxically defined by critics as origin and destiny of 20th Century Brazilian Art, its centralizing force as a phenomenon restricted to São Paulo and its social basis pose the modernist archive new questions and answers on the deadlocks of contemporary Brazil. This article presents other moments that have challenged the excessive “fatal force” of modernism and how, nonetheless, it can still constitute a transformative possibility to reflect upon the country.
Modernism; Semana de Arte Moderna; Memory; History