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Le Radeau de la Macumba

Christoph Draeger

Cidade Matarazzo

Cidade Matarazzo

The installation was originally created in 2004, in São Paulo, but had not been exhibited prior to Made by... Feito por Brasileiros. It combines sculpture and video and is based on the script of a horror film which the artist wrote and directed with the American filmmaker Gary Breslin. Draeger met the actor and director Zé do Caixão, a living legend of Brazilian horror. In the film, a young architecture student (Caio) and his girlfriend (Paula) visit an abandoned modernist building. Caio ends up disappearing after coming across some Macumba practitioners in the middle of a ritual to Exu, a Yoruba divinity that became the central Orisha in Brazilian candomblé and is also venerated in Voodoo. Demonised by Western culture and religion, Exu is a mediator between the material and spirit worlds. Primarily considered a messenger god, he is also worshipped as the guardian of cities, houses, manmade constructions and human behaviour. It is to Exu that the first votive offering is made. With this work, Draeger’s artistic production moves beyond the film installation. The altar is real, as are the objects that adorn it, and the proper candomblé ritual is observed. Thanks to Exu, the artist makes a robust contribution to the problematics surrounding the spatialisation of the image and video. He also raises the issue of the power of contemporary transcultural work capable of exorcising the old demons of certain Western cultures.

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  • Title: Le Radeau de la Macumba
  • Creator: Christoph Draeger
  • Date: 2014/2014
  • Provenance: Images © Ding Musa; courtesy the artist
  • Type: installation
  • Rights: DVD Baba "Antropofágica". Duração 10'. Diretor: Walmor Pamplona. Ator Convidado: Jards Macalé. Realização: Clark Art Center. Cortesia: Associação Cultural "O Mundo de Lygia Clark".

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