64 pages, 167 mainly colour illustrations, paperback, 22,5 x 30 cm
Pancho Guedes - An Alternative Modernist
S AM 03 is the third edition of the series of publications accompanying the exhibitions at the Swiss Architecture Museum Basel (S AM). Pancho Guedes and his prolific body of work in Mozambique over 25 years will without a doubt surprise and delight those, who may not be familiar with the sheer breadth of his creative output. Just as the dissident architects of team 10 in Europe were urging greater attention to social engagement and regional specificities, fuelling their creative drive with the dirty realism of the urban everyday, so Pancho divested himself of the colonial hegemony of his time and immersed himself in the myriad of cultural influences and motifs that constituted the very particular African cosmopolitanism of the city of Lourenço Marques.
Pancho Guedes' unencumbered production can remind us of a creative freedom, that has become all too rare within the profession. The creative process of the architect is so often governed by the need to refine a trademark style and bow to economic and pragmatic dictates. Pancho’s buildings had personalities, became paintings, carried ornaments, that abstracted African sculptures, mutated and adapted, were embellished with dreams, graphic patterns and anthropomorphisms. In his world there was no question, whether it is relevant or even politic to make all of the arts an inherent part of creative production.
Such freedom of expression, combined with the wry pragmatism, with which he defined and commented the burgeoning urban tapestry of Lourenço Marques with his many commissions, is certainly born of the unique context, in which Pancho was able to expand the architect's remit in such an inimitable way.
S AM 03 coinciding with the opening of the exhibition with the same title in the Swiss Architecture Museum Basel (30.9.2007 - 10.01.2008).