Symbolic, ornamental, and eclectic

Christopher Bisset recently produced a short film featuring the work of Portuguese-born Mozambican architect Amancio “Pancho” Guedes. “Set mainly in Maputo,” Bisset explains, “A Procura de Pancho (Looking for Pancho) is an experimental mix of animation, illustration and live action that follows the journey of a solitary student who has come to the city to explore the vibrant work of architect and artist Pancho Guedes.”

The film features some absolutely stunning buildings—buildings that, if I’m being honest, do well without the addition of animated drawings which begin to appear on their outer walls as the movie develops. But Bisset has put together a fantastic visual introduction to an architect far too people have even heard of.

An essay reproduced on Shrapnel Contemporary describes Guedes’s work as “effervescent,” adding that, “In its most exuberant and expressive character, Pancho’s architecture thus merrily escapes the moral task to which architectural modernism had consciously and diligently dedicated itself: the exclusion of the symbolic, the rejection of ornament, and the repression of the eclectic.” Symbolic, ornamental, and eclectic, the buildings seen in Bisset’s 10-minute film seem well worth exploring in person.

8 thoughts on “Symbolic, ornamental, and eclectic”

  1. Congratulations for such a very nice, accurate, careful and appropriated work, around the work of Pancho!
    Manuel Graça Dias, Lisbon

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