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DE LAMA LÂMINA

A film by Mathew Barney

Original Music by Arto Lindsay

Produced by Matthew Barney and Barbara Gladstone

US, 2004, color, 55 min, 35mm

     
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By invitation of the local Afro-Brazilian Carnival bloco (club or krewe) Cortejo Afro, artist Matthew Barney and musician Arto Lindsay paraded with their own trio-elétrico on the night of February 22nd, 2004 as part of the Carnaval de Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.

Providing Barney a self-described “detox” after the highly controlled world of The Cremaster Cycle, the musical trio, entitled De Lama Lâmina (“of mud a blade”), integrated the Cortejo Afro percussion group with hundreds of dancers as well as guest percussionists and carnival singers and paraded along the beach circuit near the old center of town. The work was staged as a performance, but scripted and filmed for later exhibition.

De Lama Lâmina portrays the duality between nature and technology as represented by two deities of the Candomblé religion: Ogun, the deity of war, whose symbol is iron, embodied in the character called The Greenman, and Ossaim, master of the forest and herbal healing, represented by a character also based on eco-activist Julia Butterfly Hill.

According to Barney, "Ossaim is in contract with the forest to harvest medicinal plants, and it is Ogun who cuts down the forest to create civilization. Both deities have a similar kind of duality, in that they are both destroyer/creators. Ultimately I was interested in how the synthesis of these relationships – the merging of Julia Butterfly Hill and the tree she lived in, with Greenman and the forestry truck he becomes intimate with – suggests a single character, a hybrid of Ogun and Ossaim.”

 
     
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