Pai dos Burros, 2016

Baptized with a popular expression that designates “dictionary”, Pai dos Burros revisits the Dictionary of Brazilian Folklore, referential compendium of the country’s traditional culture published in 1954 by Luís da Câmara Cascudo, ethnographer, historian and writer Rio Grande do Norte. Synthesis of forty years of research and reference to date, this work unites thousands of entries that describe myths, beliefs, musical genres, dances, celebrations, foods and drinks, among other items the cultural national repertory. Interlocutor of Mário de Andrade, scholar “without eruditions”, Cascudo considered the task of mapping the folklore as infinite; he said that we are agents and reagents, carriers and interpreters of overlapping cultures.

An edition 1962 of the Dictionary serves as motto and support to the drawings by Teresa Berlinck, who for many years have been developing pieces based on a collection of inherited books about Brazil. Here, the artist researches on Google Images the entries above each one of the 400 pages of Câmara Cascudo dictionary to find the images that she recreates on the loose pages of the book – with nankin, brush and feather tips. Symptomatic to the contemporary changes in the cultural forms of access and archive, metaphorical figures, overlays and visual associations emerge in an unordered manner and without hierarchy the digital cloud, revealing a complex cultural broth of references that range the Cangaço to Japanese Manga.

With the intention of (re)translating into a sound language a repertory that is natural to oral traditions, the radioartist Julio de Paula, researcher of Brazilian popular culture, take the entries of the dictionary (chosen by interest, affinity or chance) to create a multifonic soundpiece that is juxtaposed to the drawings. Approximately fifty poetic-musical fragments articulates forms and sources equally diverse, among interviews, testimonies, noises, musical fragments and soundscapes – landscape sounds – extracted field recordings, historical archives, musical appropriations, sessions with musicians and commissioned readings.