Mar Morto

During my stay at the artist-residency in Itaparica in Brazil, I dedicated my time to research and work about the knowledge, the ideas and the mythologies about the sea. Itaparica, where I stayed for two months, is a village on an island in Bahia. The Afro-Brazilian culture and religions there, like Candomblé and Makumba are deeply connected with nature elements, specifically the sea – which is a female god called Yemanjá.

In this work, I took the sea as the image for the circle of birth, life, and death and collaborated with an initiated woman and her granddaughter, both involved in a small Candomblé temple in Itaparica. The title – in English, ‘Sea of Death’ – comes from the novel of the Brazilian author Jorge Amado. The video installation uses two channels. On one side, we see the two in a loop walking in each other’s footsteps. Through the editing, their movements become one. The two protagonists start watching in a mirror, seeing each other’s image disappearing into the sea. On the other screen, we see the old woman singing a song about Yemanjá mixed with images from a Candomblé session in a Candomblé church, where the old lady is a part of.