Cross Patterns: Paths to be able to return / Bárbara Palomino Ruiz



Interactive and multimedia installation inspired by the creation and the polysemic meaning of the geometric designs called Kené from the indigenous group Shipibo-Konibo from the Peruvian Amazon and base on an invented tradition.

“The Shipibo-Konibo have established a close link between all things based on metaphorical thinking and on a generative model of time, where any past can be constructed from a manipulation of contents in the present*. During the 1980s, a German anthropologist proposed that Shipibo ‘shamans’ could sing the designs” as if the lines of the patterns embroidered on textiles or painted on the surfaces could be lines of sound. This idea of “pattern songs”, designs that could be sung as if they were coded music, was not part of the Shipibo-Konibo’s life before been introduced by anthropologists. Yet this invented tradition was spread it by the european expectatios and by “declaring that thus was « the original tradition of the shipibo », this idea is actually transforming into reality (*Brabec de Mori, Bernd.)»….

The geometric patterns wich the Shipibo-Konibo create reflect their vision of the world and they correspond to the shapes found on the skin of the ‘anaconda’. At the same time, they are interpreted as “paths designs”, as mappings of their physical and imaginary space. The lines of the patterns are representations and trails of the community or traces of navigating across the Ucayali river. Cartography of the life courses as well as the roads on which the spirits travel…

Production / Distribution : Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains

With the collaboration of:
Association Shane (France)
Metalu.net (France)

And with the support of Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes, Fondo Formación Becas y Pasantías, FONDART (Chili)

Thanks to:
Pierre Urban for the sound and research support (Association Shane / Sound from “A l’ecoute du people Shipibo: Chants et traditions d’Amazonie”)
Pauline de Chalendar
Sebastian Brameshuber
Daniela Delgado Viteri

*BRABEC DE MORI, B., “The magic of song, the invention of tradition and the structuring of time among the Shipibo”, en Jahrbuch des Phonogrammarchivs der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften [Yearbook of the Phonogrammarchiv at the Austrian Academy of Sciences] Vol. 2: 169-192, 2011.; “Song Patterns and Sung Designs: The Invention of Tradition among Amazonian Indians as a Response to Researchers’ Inquiries” in Musical Traditions Discovery, Inquiry, Interpretation, and Application XXVI European Seminar in Ethnomusicology Institute of Musicology, Budapest, 2010, Edited by Pál Richter. HAS, Research Centre for the Humanities: Budapest, 2012, pp. 266-280.

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