Fernando Lara, former teacher at the Taubman College (MI) and professor at the Texas University, tell us about a conversation he heard some days ago…
Message to Oscar
The phone ringed in the middle of the night and he got it quickly, jumping out of the bed as if a century had no weigh. On the other side a voice that he knew from years ago.
– Yes, that’s me, who’s that?
– It’s me, Roberto, Roberto Burle Marx. Long time no see. I never thought it would take so long for you to join us. Please forgive me the bad timing, in the middle of the night. We can only reach live people when you are half awake and half asleep. Oscar, we have been talking a lot about you in recent years.
Amazing how the years go fast here, I think that in the face of eternity everything becomes so tiny ….. but we can talk about it later when you to arrive. Lucio did not agree, he believes (probably correctly) that you hear nobody. But all the others insisted that I should call you. Here’s the thing: we are all worried about what you are building nowadays. Poorly detailed, poorly constructed. Stop Oscar. Enjoy the honors that you deserve. Go back to drawing your curvilinear women and stops drawing building with meaningless curves. If it is for the money you can make a good living with your drawings. Corbusier did that and I also started painting more when I perceived that the gardens didn’t have the same vivacity as before. Those tasteless buildings are ruining your biography Oscar. That boy from the New York Times was correct in 2007 when he said that you lived long enough to ruin your own work. Charles Moore is also here and he is my best friend now – I don’t know why I never met him before – always talking about how much he regrets that Piazza di Italia in New Orleans. A single small piazza taints Charles biography and you have already accumulate half a dozen “piazzas” Oscar. Why put an auditorium inside Casa do Baile? Why build an empty library in Brasilia? Why this monster administrative center close to Confins airport? By the way, go back to Confins to see the elegant detailing that Milton designed. If only you still had people such as Milton or Lelé to detail your sketches…. You don’t need this Oscar. You are already the most important architect of Americas in the 20th century (Frank is screaming here but for a start he was born in the 19th century). Go draw Oscar. Go write Oscar. This business of architecture is too complicated and when done in a hurry it looks awful. Everybody here says hello and tell you to stay alive as much as possible (everybody envies your longevity and some envy your talent too).
Some time later he woke up. Later in the day he would have a lot of people in the office to show a project, drawn yesterday, to one more politician rooted in the ideas and the forms of the previous century.