– A residency with MONTE Buenos Aires, exploring myth, household gestures and mountain tales.
This residency will take the book ‘The Labours of Hercules’ by Alice Bailey and a culmination of research from living with a small community in the remote mountain village ‘El Condor’ (4500 m.a.s) in the Argentinian Puna, to explore a dialogue about ‘cyclical progress’.
The residency will see the development of a series of objects and gestures, together forming a 12 step journey of man, spirit and matter.
Lucia, as both an archetype and a real encounter, will act as an initiation to explore the feminine principle, the wisdom of the hand, and the cosmic in the domestic. How myth and autochthonous gesture feed of one another. How old traditions are fading into weeds and forgotten tales.
Taking these ‘weeds’ as ‘seeds’ in disguise, to reflect upon how to re-plant and cultivate new knowledge for our societal potential and collective future.
“In the lands where the word ‘poverty’ does not exist….
If a family did not have the means of securing the stable future for their children – a mother would braid her young daughter’s hair into many small braids. These braids could then be individually cut off and exchanged with another family for an animal, either a lama, a cow or a sheep. And in this way, the future livestock of the person is secured. This type of tradition is rapidly becoming less common as young adults leave this land for the hope of stability and progress in the cities.
I was very lucky to meet a wonderful and wild woman called Baubtista, living within the 3 mud huts that her forefathers built with their hands. Her posture perfectly brushing through the sandy floors, winding woolen ropes and tending to the pieces of drying meat blushing in the sun. As she was walking between the huts, fire in one, water in another, she pulled out the skin of a wild mountain fox that they had recently caught in prevention of the fox attacking their livestock. The nose had been cut off and my curiosity brought me to enquire. The nose of the fox, as it always moves so close to the earth, is used to cure sadness. It is put on a string as a necklace, the nose hanging just in level with the heart. She told me she had once used it herself.”