PANCHO GUEDES EXHIBITION AT MUSEUM AFRICA - NEWTOWN
'So I was in the middle of a revolution, when the phone rang': This is how Pancho Guedes describes the moment in time when he stepped out of Mozambique and into Johannesburg. Invited to become the Head of the Department of Architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), the evolution of 25th April 1974 does not so much change his work, as it does his life. The hiatus between what went on before and what comes after, could hardly be more pronounced for the architect who had 'built enough buildings to fill a small city' in Mozambique.
Pancho transformed himself into 'an amateur', by his own admission: 'I did not need to keep that subservience to clients: they always mess up what you want. I became like an English gentleman from the 18th century. I became a connoisseur. Most of the things were not built, which was wonderful. I could devote myself to building up lecture course after lecture course on everything.... I was still drawing a lot. The drawing is more important than the building. Architecture is about ideas. I came closer to being an architect in Johannesburg, than in Mozambique. I had a fabulous library....
Extract from the Exhibition Catalogue, 'Works after 24th April 1974'.
The Exhibition, curated by Henning Rasmuss and Dagmar Hoetzel, is on at Newtown's Museum Africa for the whole of the month of October 2008. Not to be missed.