TO MARK THE LAND

20 4×6 instant film photographs

20 x 180 cm (2014)

In his book The Ritual Process the anthropologist Victor Turner describes some of the rituals of the Ndembu tribe of Namibia

The first step of these series of rituals has its roots on the hunting techniques used by the tribesmen to recognize the area where they’ll look for their preys. Whenever they got into an unknown area the hunters will move forward breaking some branches to make a trial to find their way back.

In the rituals described by Turner, the first thing done before starting the ceremony is to mark the land following the same technique of the hunters. These broken branches determine the first symbolic element of the ritual. This mark represents the limit between what’s known and what is about to be known, it works as a map between present and future. In the same way establishes what belongs to the material and the spiritual world.

Taking into account this concepts, I made a classification of common objects found at my place like: bread, candy wrap, hair, seeds, etc. then I started to break them and put them together again building small sculptures that afterwards were placed over an instant film (Polaroid) plate. The plates were exposed to light like photograms. The sculptures become photographs, developing a series of symbols that are part of a domestic ritual that traces the way back to an emotional stage associated with the idea of home.

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