2013, Rio de Janeiro/Berlin. One video channel projection, color, audio, 7 min 30s in Loop, Full HD Format.

Frames of a tropical rainforest covered by smoke. Beams of a solar day embody the movement of smoke. The wind sometimes reveals and sometimes hides the forest density. Between opacity and transparency, the smoke makes us realize the wind among the trees. Within the Atlantic Forest of Rio de Janeiro, on a day of waning moon, a woman begins the cultivation of corn, according to the Guaraní indigenous ritual.

„¿Con cuántos árboles se hace una selva? ¿con cuántas casas una ciudad?“ ORTEGA Y GARSSET, José, Meditaciones del Quijote

Once I was invited in Brazil to the inauguration of an Oca1, built by friends who live in Pedra de Guaratiba, a neighborhood in western of Rio de Janeiro, located within the Atlantic Forest and close to the sea cost. The group had attended a workshop about Opy´s construction. Opy are houses of prayer, for the Guaraní Indigenous culture, made with recycling methods, by reusing the region's natural resources for a sustainable construction. The day after the opening ceremony, we all started planting corn by clearing the land with the slash and burning a small part of the land. The video "The jungle is the head" is a result of this experience with the group and the learning process based on the rituals of Guaraní´s architecture practice and its relations to the cycles of maize cultivation.

In the context of the exhibition "Return to Forever_Brutalism, Attitudes & Fiction", in May 2013 at the Gallery of the Czech Center Berlin, the video was then designed as a second window to the outside of the gallery, in dialogue with the buildings showcase facing the street. The desire of integration between interior and exterior can be pointed as one of the main characteristics of the brutalist architecture of the building, built between 1974 and 1978 in Berlin. By projecting the video at the back of the room, the video establishes a shock between the space of an outside forest, and the rest of the interior wood walls of the gallery. The building and the body of the room, seen as a large sculpture, are once again covered with wood, but in more fantasmatic form. The image and sounds of Brazilian rain forest, perform a possible return to the materiality of the inside rooms and its original contexts.

*Oca is the name given to typical Brazilian indigenous housing. The term comes from the Tupi-Guarani language family.

© 2021 Barbara Marcel