“At the São Joaquim market in Salvador, we came across a huge row of garages closed off at night by metal shutters, or covered with heavy green, grey or yellow tarpaulin sheets. During the day, these garages served a stores selling herbs and fruits for rituals, immaculately white eggs, statues of Ogum, Omolu, Oxalá, Yemanjá, Obaluaiê—all the Candomblé divinities—, but also red devils, painted plaster saints, chickens for sacrifice, all the paraphernalia of worship, including fish, pots and pans, fabrics, meats, amulets, music…Rituals and victuals went hand-in-glove. Each vendor had his loyal clientele, and together they formed a micro-community.
I was invited by the Bahia Biennial and Free Art Fair project to set up a temporary film studio in one of the corridors leading to the market restrooms. For three whole days, thanks to a pair of drop cloths, this precarious place granted me a certain privacy. The word spread. I was a foreigner who’d come to exchange ‘images’. The conditions of filming were simple: vendors had to turn up with an object from their stalls and pose before a green gold-patterned backdrop.”