1. logbook
      1 March 2011

      The Siren of the Tropics

      Inti Guerrero on Flávio de Carvalho, entry #3
    2. When Le Corbusier came to Rio de Janeiro, Josephine Baker was also in town. They would actually dock the same boat and its attached zeppelin, which took them back to Europe. Ms.Baker performed in Rio her internationally acclaimed show the Banana Dance, which Flavio de Carvalho not only saw but reviewed! To have noted the coincidence that she was around the same moment that Flavio interviewed Le Corbusier, is of great importance to this research, because, like FdC, Josephine Baker also produced an undecidable zombie aesthetics: Portrayed within the cultural milieu of the afro-primitivism wave fashion that was taking place in the 1920’s in Paris, Josephine Baker, may well have gone beyond the field of ‘Le exotique’, as she exteriorized the repressed or desired sexuality of the audience through extravagant tribal movements that subverted ‘European/Academic’ choreography. Her presence on stage was at the end an individualist catharsis that distorted homogenous, harmonic, rational synchronism. For many, she is just a racist-sexist stereotype, but as one of her biographer’s has stated while describing her banana skirt: “They are like phalluses stimulated by female agency. If you look at it from the outside, you think this is just a shake dancer, but if you look at it from the inside, she is this incredible female personality which is in possession of the male”.

      Perhaps Flavio de Carvalho was in possession of the female, at the end his mini-skirt was sexualizing his body, as he proposed a more reasonable outfit for executive men of the tropics.

      1. Le corbusier, Josephine Baker and Pepito Abatino on board S.S. LUTETIA from Rio de Janeiro to Europe, 1929
      2. LZ 127 "Graf Zeppelin" over Rio de Janeiro, CA. 1920?
      3. Josephine in Banana Skirt, 1927
      4. Josephine Baker dancing The Charleston at the Folies Bergère, Paris in 1926.
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