Apuntes: Revista de Estudios sobre Patrimonio Cultural - Journal of Cultural Heritage Studies
Print version ISSN 1657-9763
GONZALEZ CASAS, Lorenzo and MARIN, Orlando. Superimposed Times: Modern Architecture and "lndigenism" in Art and Architecture of Mid-20th Century Caracas. Apuntes [online]. 2008, vol.21, n.2, pp. 266-279. ISSN 1657-9763.
In Venezuela, during the 1950s, the military dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez proceeded with one of most radical modernization programs in Latin America; a program which had a huge impact over the cityscape. The functional and abstract codes form the "International Style" received complete endorsement, particularly in public buildings. However, in many of the architectural works that were intended to simultaneously embody a modern and nationalist agenda, artistic elements from the pre-Columbian past were included. This operation of syncretism, supported on supposed testimonies from original cultures, was instrumental to legitimize the big leap into development. This paper includes symbolic interpretations of the hybridization of modern and indigenous languages in the most important public works in Caracas, with special emphasis on the University City and the Eastern Highway, the Simon Bolivar Center, and the Military Circle. All of these projects were infused with a modern language in architecture as well as with artistic motives recreating Venezuelan indigenous myths and traditions.
Keywords : Modern Architecture; lndigenism; University City; Centro Simón Bolívar; Círculo Militar; Caracas.