Fotos por Nicole Heiniger, Sonia Onate e Calil Neto
Temporal (2006 - 2008)
Tomba Surrão, Alto da Estrela, Sem Teto - Lençóis, Bahia, Brazil
Originally published in the book Calma: the art of Stephan Doitschinoff
Text by Carlos Alcobia
Lençois is a fundamental step in the comprehension of Stephan’s work. For three years he lived in its homes, talked with the people, shared their tables, and painted their streets. By the end of his journey, the city itself had been transformed into his work.
The hardness that is the history of mining was stuck onto its walls. It is the visibility conceded to the collective imaginary through murals portraying blood diamonds being expelled from the stomachs of miners, a tribute to the memory of those who were gutted by the greed and distrust of their bosses. On other walls cigar smoking diamonds wearing top hats denounce the relations of capitalist exploitation.
( … ) ( the artist ) settled outside the center of town and intervened directly in
the slums (Alto da Estrela, Tomba Surrão and Sem teto). His studio was located well outside the gentrified areas, atop a hill in Tomba Surrão,
and living inside this marginality, Stephan recorded their stories,
shared their spaces, and got invited to paint their homes.
But Stephan stipulates that each intervention correspond to a reflection of what the space deserves, and not what the host might wish for. The boundary is thin and debatable, but it exists and it is determinative.
The relationship with the other is built on difference and not on false assumptions of consensus. Sharing also comes to us through confrontation.
( … ) In a city built on the remains of a giant stellar black diamond (Mesozoic Era (200 million years ago), Stephan painted murals with the inscription Caput Corvi during a process that was conducive to gathering the fragments of his own personal narratives. It seems to me impossible not to understand the irony of this phenomenon in the light of Carl Jung’s theory of synchronicity. After all, Caput Corvi, the crow’s head, symbolizes the nigredo. This absolute blackness represents in Alchemy the spiritual death and the eminence of something incorruptible. The nigredo enables the alchemist to continue his search for the philosopher’s stone. It signals the end of one cycle and the beginning of another.
Lençóis is Stephan’s black diamond.
Solvite corpora et coagulate spiritum, dissolve and coagulate, the end of
one road is the beginning of the next.