Region/Concept: South America, Body (Costume)
Sub-concepts: Poverty, Healing, Excitation
Description: The popular and the religious collide in the diverse fashion of local healers.
Some days, when the circumstance calls for it, the human being stops being just a human being. The marvelous takes over. Invoking the marvelous simply means being able to astonish (but astonishing the other is not a simple matter). In the hills of Altiplano, colorful figures appear: the color of their garments differentiates them from the surrounding world of nature. For example: the bright red against the light grey of the fog. We see the opulence of masks and dresses in juxtaposition against the bleakness of rooms, the everyday poverty. But it is only here that the word luxury attains proper value, of excess in austerity, a distinctive splendor, and thus brightness, or light. Do not forget: the witch-doctors that wear them and transform into zoomorphic beings are still “doctors”. They heal by opening up the borders, physical and moral, taking one by the hand into the underground tunnels (the mines carved inside the hills). The world becomes paradoxically less differentiated (even though the garments and masks are over-pronounced) and thus horror and excitement ensue. The forbidden is formidable; the deceivers seductive. These basic formulas are so powerful that even after the objects and the garments are fully removed their humming presence remains.
Posted by: Dejan Lukic