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Tamar Guimarães, Canoas, 2010, still from a 16-mm film transferred to color video, 13 minutes 30 seconds.

Tamar Guimarães

Gasworks

Tamar Guimarães, Canoas, 2010, still from a 16-mm film transferred to color video, 13 minutes 30 seconds.

Peeking through deep green foliage, we glimpse a statue of a zaftig female figure and the cobalt-blue waters of a swimming pool near a sprawling glass-fronted building. A bikini-clad woman emerges from the pool and then languorously smokes a cigarette. The statue’s voluptuous curves contrast with the gamine figure of the protagonist, who, with her bobbed hair and deadpan face, could be a 1920s flapper. The scene shifts. Now, navy-blue-uniformed cleaning staff march around, swabbing the floors, stopping to smoke and chat. Sitting in a glass-enclosed kitchen that hums with the sounds of insects and wind-ruffled leaves are a maid and a manservant. We hear her say to him, “Let’s talk about her.” We viewers realize, with a jolt, that, like them, we have been spying.

Welcome to Canoas, 2010, Tamar Guimarães’s 16-mm film that concentrates on Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer’s 1953 Casa

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