The artist brings as a project the rap videoclip Ladainha do Morto, a poem by Gerardo Mello Mourão, musicized and recorded by Cabelo for the work “Luz com Trevas”, which involves a record, a show and an exhibition.
The script is based on his text O DesMoisés written for the project Crab Nebulosa, carried out with Lilian Zaremba and Tunga for the event “100 days – 100 guests” at Documenta X, Kassel, Germany in 1997.
Late afternoon. In the cemetery of a village in the mountains a crowd is gathered for the burial of a man. Like a slow black snake, they slither throughout the narrow paths between the graves. Relatives, friends and strangers escort the deceased to the grave. SOUND OF VOICES MIXED WITH THE BLOWING WIND
A warm wind brings a flock of heavy clouds that gather over the city. Thunderstorms and lightning announce the storm. A heavy waterspout precipitates.
The grave is filled with rainwater, making the burial impossible. A lightning strikes THE CROSS OF a grave. In the ensuing panic, the crowd abandons the ceremony and leaves the cemetery.
NEW RUMOR OF VOICES, WHICH IS CONFUSED WITH THE VOICE OF MANY WATERS.
The river level rose so high that the cemetery was flooded. Like islands, only a few crosses of three or four mausoleums remain visible over the water level.
Abandoned, the coffin starts to float, being carried by the stream, along the river, now accompanied by branches and all kinds of floating rubbish.
Voice: The stone in the river is in your soul.
The coffin bumps against a stone and in this collision the lid is opened, revealing the dead to the night, and the night to the dead, immersed in stillness, the enigmatic countenance, following the waters in their thirst to reach the sea.
It is already night and the sky clears up.
Some people return to the cemetery but cannot find the coffin. A search attempt is made, to no avail.
In the meantime, taken by gravity, the skiff descends, an ark of a single beast, Noah populated by thousands of microorganisms yet void of the pneuma, or vital breath. The Milky Way shines over his closed eyes. The Milky Way, the great white snake.
According to the Incas, it is the great river in the sky from which the god of thunder draws water to send rain down to the earth.
According to other beliefs, it is the path of souls that make their way into the beyond, at whose end is the country of the dead.
A dog chaperones the coffin-boat, following its path along the bank.
It was said that the dead man was both a poet and an inventor, creator of the machine used for the milking of constellations. He said it was necessary to feel around the darkness, groping it until the liquid light was removed from their teats; a pleasant yet exhausting process: the harvest was meager, but precious. On a good night, almost half a glass of milk was removed, which, through alchemical processes, could be transmuted into small crystals.
High in the sky, like a goblet, the half moon shines. Nest and source of life, container of ambrosia, the divine liquor, the drink of the gods.
The moon that controls the tides, the waters that flow along the universe and keep the creatures alive.
Water, tree sap, milk, sperm, blood: different states of a single elixir. Dew and rain are transformed into the vegetal sap, and this into the cow's milk, which turns into blood: liquid fire.
Voice: This world, the same as every other, was created by neither god nor man, but remains as it always was, is and will be: everliving fire, kindling in its own measures and burning out at its own rate.
Almost in the morning, the mooing of cows can be heard at a distance. With a sound mirror—another contraption authored by the deceased—one can hear the inverted image of the sound of the mooing, which was said by the dead poet to be very similar to the primordial sound of Creation.
The coffin floats silently through the foam, soap bubbles and echoes of the conversations being held by women washing their laundry by the river. Meanwhile, the cows are ruminating. They eat the grass and cow feed, producing large amounts of excrement.
Until recently, there was no use for such an amount of manure. Now it is offered as food for earthworms in compost bins, and in 45 days these annelids convert all of it into humus. An excellent organic fertilizer.
When used in plantations, gardens and orchards, crops are born in abundance. This procedure has already reached urban centers, where many citizens are already capable, like earthworms, of converting the material and immaterial waste of civilization into humus.
Voice: Can you hear the explosions of the seeds sprouting through the concrete cracks? Can you smell the grass that spreads throughout the city?
The sun rises. A bouquet of butterflies now escorts the coffin, which ends up getting stranded in the sands of a small village’s beach. It is a place called Two Rivers, whose dwellers make a living out of fishing and subsistence agriculture, in terrible sanitary conditions. Thus, a large part of the population ends up being infested by worms, including the yellow worm, scientifically called Ancylostoma Duodenale.
Another very common worm in the region is Ascaris Lumbricoides, popularly called roundworm. A large female can contain seven million eggs and expel two hundred thousand or more in 24 hours.
The worms sometimes migrate to an individual's mouth or nose or penetrate their intestines, invading other organs, causing serious illness or even the death of the host. Not long ago, a child expelled a worm three feet long through its mouth.
Infested by worms, children can have their physical and mental growth slowed and, people of all ages, with many worms, become anemic, their energy decreases and their susceptibility to other diseases increases.
The individual suffers from colic, diarrhea, weakness, gnashing of teeth, bad mood and, sometimes, momentary loss of vision. This last symptom has aroused the interest of researchers who pass through Two Rivers: in the beginning there is blurred vision, as if a black mist was setting in, then leading the patient to blindness.
Both the yellow worm and the roundworm have a cylindrical and elongated body, belonging to the class of "Nematodes", a word originally from the Greek "Nematos", which means "thread".
The origin of this word may be one of the keys to the mystery of blurred vision, also called the hood trance, because the symbolism of the thread is essentially that of the agent that links all states of existence to each other and to their principle, which links this world and the other world and all beings.
Individuals deprived of sight develop other senses, and are endowed with the ability to have premonitions and to feel vibrations and voices from the future, present and past.
Voice: The wind that brings the seed of fertilization is also the one that brings the voice of the dead.
Thus, in this small fishing village, poet-prophets proliferate, transmitting to the population the experience of their sonorous and visual delusions. One of them had already predicted the arrival of the dead man a few weeks earlier.
A dozen people, including men, women and children, are gathered around the coffin. Before more people arrive, they pull out a watch from the dead man's pocket, still ticking, which is marking a six hour difference from the local time. In the other pockets they find a canary—a bird that has a beautiful song and yellow feathers—bread crumbs, seeds of an unknown fruit and an iron sculpture in the shape of a dog's snout.
A dentist arrives in time to remove the gold fillings from the dead man’s mouth. The dwellers strip him of his suit, call him “Moses” and place the coffin back into the river’s stream.
Under the hot sun, the naked corpse becomes red as ember and, before the evening sets, at the mouth of the river, forked like a snake's tongue, the coffin vessel swerves along one side of the river and meets the salt water.
Due to the heat, the body accelerates its state of putrefaction, exhaling vapors through its nostrils, which momentarily take the form of a seahorse. The image, seen by absolutely no one, dissolves, a second before a wave precipitates, flipping the coffin upside down.
A fish quickly swallows the dead man's right eye and a seagull dives and catches the fish. The eye inside the fish, the fish inside the gull, the gull in the atmosphere many feet above the sea level.
Voice: Would the dead man imagine he would fly at such a height without the aid of any machine?
The left eye now in the belly of a grouper, a leg in the mouth of a shark, the head creating slime and the brain caught by crabs. The rest of the body sinks into the deep waters, settling down for its long awaited rest, being shared by shoals, feeding fish that will feed men.
The night sets in and the dead remains alive in the memory of the living; oblivious to everything, he is diluted, dissolved in water, the source of all things.
Voice: There are no more images of the earth any longer, do you see? Who sees? Who listens? The incessant sights of the stellar, there, in the most untouchable distance.
Time flows by… In the morning, at the edge of a beach, fishermen are chatting when suddenly an enormous wave appears on the horizon, with a naked man surfing on top of a coffin-shaped longboard, until he reaches the sand.
Cabelo, Maio de 1997.
Ladainha do Morto in the Jô: show: https://globoplay.globo.com/v/3587334
"to begin with, i don’t belong to myself.
i’m a horse of the world
in such a condition, i’m much more a “what” than a “who.”
that which they call cabelo is not only one,
but many, like the hair that grows on one’s head.
i’m possessed by entities, energies,
acting jointly or separately.
like one or two soccer teams.
the combination of these forces guides the body,
that kind of spaceship,
or octopus, or now-mobile,
we might say, plunges in different densities,
sailing the instant.
thus goes the arrow.
along its course, its crew, its tentacles,
collect what they find
gifts fished on the bedless flux."
*”horse” is the medium who embodies a spirit or orixá in some afro-brazilian rituals.
Cabelo, Maio de 1997.
learn more about the artist - www.cabelo.etc.br
below I leave some references of other works that dialogue with the proposal:
Cabelo (Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, 1967)
Brazilian artist, lives and works in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Cabelo is a poet, musician and a visual artist. He considers his drawings, paintings, sculptures, songs, performances, videos and processes of instaurations, as manifestations of poetry. According to Luiz Camillo Osorio "these various lines of force in his poetics focus on an expressive event always marked by the presence of the body". The work takes place both in a museum and on the street. Currently he continues with the project “Luz com Trevas”: an exhibition, a show and a disc, which mix together forming one single work.
In 2019, he was one of the finalists for the Prêmio Pipa and held an exhibition at Villa Aymoré, in addition to participating in the group exhibitions “Da Linha, o Fio”, at Espaço Cultural BNDES, Rio de Janeiro, at the Festival Multiplicidade 2019: Brasis, Centro Cultural Oi Futuro and took part at the collective exhibition "O que não é floresta é prisão política" at the Occupation 9 de Julho from the Movimento dos Sem Teto do Centro (MSTC), São Paulo. In 2018, he made the solo show “Luz com Trevas” at Espaço Cultural BNDES, Rio de Janeiro and participated in the 33rd São Paulo International Biennial for the second time. In 2017, he participated in the exhibitions “Alucinações à Beira Mar”, at MAM-Rio and in “Art of the Treasure Hunt: The Grand Tour” in Tuscany, Italy. In 2015, he made the solo show "Obrigado, Volte Sempre" at the A Gentil Carioca, Rio de Janeiro. His works were exhibited in individual exhibitions, among which are: “Da Banalidade”, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, SP (2016), “Humúsica”, at MAM-Rio (2012), “Myanmar Miroir (The Corridor), in Art Positions at Art Basel Miami (2006); “Imediações de Monte Basura”, at the Center D'art Santa Monica, Barcelona (2005). Among the group exhibitions, the following stand out: Bienal do Mercosul 2009, Porto Alegre, “De Perto, De Longe”, Liceu de Artes e Ofícios, São Paulo (2008); 26th São Paulo International Biennial, São Paulo (2004); “How Latitudes Become Forms: Art in a Global Age”, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA; “Violência e Paixão”, MAM-Rio (2003); “Cote à Cote - Art Contemporain du Brésil”, CAPC Musée d'Art Contemporain, France (2001); “Cefalópode Heptópode”, X Documenta de Kassel, Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany (1997). In 1996 he received the “Antarctica Artes com a Folha” Award and the IBEU Prize for Arts.
Cabelo`s works are part of the Gilberto Chateaubriand and Joaquim Paiva - Museu de Arte Moderno Rio de Janeiro - MAM RJ, Pipa Institute, Acervo Banco Itaú S.A, João Sattamini - Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói - MAC Niterói.