The Legend of Fulozinha, 2010
A series of 12 large format photographs. 8"x 10" black and white negatives scanned and printed on archival pigment paper, 40"x 50" edition of 5.
The popularity of myths within contemporary non-western societies suggests that their significance is still intact today. The Legend of Fulozinha includes a character, gendered and political in nature. It is a compelling story, that of Comadre Fulozinha, based on a woman who haunts the forests and protects animals from hunters. Considered an environmental guardian and a complex cultural cipher, it is fabled that whenever she is near, a whistle of a particular pitch will be heard.
A twist in the narrative unfolds; the closer the whistle sounds the farther away from one she would be. The implication of her as a legendary character is coupled with a powerful fear-inducing affect, a matriarch and protector. Present in this narrative is the notion of her presence as primarily that of a nomad, walker and wonderer. Her existence in one place is temporal and transient. In this work the photographs are of spaces, territories said to be traveled by her. They include fences, marshes, and similar spaces that demarcate her presence - spaces which are all distinct from each other but somehow affected, dominated by her presence.
"Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished; and they have been the living inspiration of whatever else may have appeared out of the activities of the human body and mind. It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation. Religions, philosophies, arts, the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth."
- Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Comadre Fulozinha - The Keeper of the Forests (translation from a newspaper clip)
“Comadre Fulozinha, as the hunters tell it, is a fantastic and mysterious girl who lives in the forest, always ready to defend animals and plants against the advances of the predators of nature. She is a half-breed, with long blond hair covering her body. She is a walker, playful and lives in the woods. Hunters tell of her existence in the forests of Mato Grande, including in the southern part of São Miguel do Gostoso. She can disappear without leaving a trace and loves to plait horses’ tails. She protects the wildlife from the hunters, disorientating them with her whistles and making them get lost in the woods. She loves to receive gifts such as oatmeal, confectionery and tobacco."