Guy Van de Beuque
Today, when there’s never enough time and images are so profuse that nothing can be really seen, we need to create space and time to discover those things that have the power to arouse our feelings, that reveal our most human values and create a bridge to where everything is separate
Guy Van de Beuque was the director and coordinator of the Museu Casa do Pontal for nine years. He was born on March 11, 1951 in the city of Rio de Janeiro and died on January 27, 2004 in New Delhi, India. A brilliant mathematician in his youth, he completed his Masters degree at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro/UFRJ at age 23. Shortly thereafter he enrolled in the doctoral program at New York University in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, one of the most important mathematics and computer science research centers in the world. In 1975, before defending his thesis, but having performed brilliantly in all of his courses, he abandoned mathematics, convinced that “it was too late to achieve anything innovative or truly creative in this discipline”. He went to France, where he attended the Masters program at the Institut d'Economie et Developpement Social at the Sorbonne. Returning to Brazil in 1977 he entered the Martins Pena School of Theater and the following year attended the School of Dance for actors created by Klaus Vianna. He lectured in mathematics for many years at the UFRJ. In 1979, he began to make documentaries, and over a period of 10 years he received awards at the most important cinema and video festivals in Brazil. A list of his most important documentaries includes: ABC Montessoriano, which won the award at the Festival de Cinema JB (1969); Arquive-se, recognized at the I Vídeo Rio and the Festival Fotótica (1982); Terra Queimada de Sangue, shown at the Festival Internacional de Cinema e Televisão do Rio de Janeiro/FestRio (1987) and A última que morre (1986), which won the Sol de Prata award as the best Educational Video at the RiocineFestival. As a scriptwriter, he won the Kodak Award in 1987, for the screenplay for “Hans Staden no país dos tupinambás”.
Blessed with a strong sense of intellectual curiosity and a rigorous education in science and the humanities, he worked in various disciplines at the UFRJ – History, Biology and Communication. After completing another doctoral degree, this time in philosophy, he transferred to the Institute of Philosophy and Social Sciences/IFCS/UFRJ, and became a member of the teaching staff. His book A experiência do nada como princípio do mundo was in press at the time of his death and published posthumously.
Guy focused his many talents on the ways the Museu Casa do Pontal, with its fantastic collection and its many works of art, could be made more accessible to the public. And not just this museum. Guy attended and participated in various national forums, seeking alternative ways to finance and promote museums and other projects for the discussion and promotion of Brazilian culture. He worked hard to show that initiatives in organized civil society for the protection, preservation, conservation and dissemination of culture could be more effective if there were alternatives to the public/private models of support.
Through his determination and hard work he was able to create a structure that transformed the Casa do Pontal, created by his father, Jacques Van de Beuque, into the Museu Casa do Pontal. The museum that had begun as a place to visit became a true center for discussion and study with the development of regular and substantive activities in the areas of education and the dissemination of Brazilian folk art. In 2002, thanks to his training in both science and the arts, he coordinated the creation and implementation of a website for Brazilian folk art in addition to the website of the Museu Casa do Pontal, and created a permanent space for the dissemination of Brazilian folk art and culture.
In 2008 a new exhibition gallery at the Museu Casa do Pontal was created in his honor: the GVB Art Gallery. This the museum’s temporary exhibition gallery. It is used for projects that provoke thinking about the limits and appropriation of art. It is a place for projects that dialogue with and confront the established arts, as well as with vanguard, modern and contemporary arts, contemporary thought and art criticism, in a way that allows artistic creation to be considered and viewed from multiple angles, considering differences and specificities.