Ana Hupe Footnotes To Triangular Cartographies
“Although I was the ‘local’ one there, since I am Brazilian, it was Adedoyin who was opening the doors for me in Salvador” – Ana Hupe
“Footnotes to triangular Cartographies is a research project that developed into an exhibition and in 2021 will also turn into a book. It started in 2018, when I met the Yoruba Priestess and princess Adedoyin Olosun, from the sacred forest of Osogbo, Nigeria.” – Ana Hupe
“The plan was to do a first exhibition as a result of all this process in Rio de Janeiro in March, but one week before the travel, the sky fell down and in September I was supposed to show part of the project in Lagos, Nigeria, and the sky fell down again...” – Email communication with Ana Hupe
These Footnotes to Triangular Cartographies derive from notes that Ana Hupe made on journeys to Salvador (Brazil), Havana (Cuba) and sacred cities in Yorubaland (Nigeria). They are the product, therefore, of observations and reflections on possible points of intersection between these three sites and make up a first sense of “triangulation”, by which the artist creates what she calls “cartographies”. – Maykson Cardoso
“It's there that the Osun river is born. With Olosun, I witnessed historical meetings between the candomblé culture of Bahia and Yorubaland. The film connects Salvador and sacred regions for the Yoruba people in Nigeria, where I went to visit Adedoyin Olosun. It's a video-installation, complemented by a second film essay, made in Havana, Cuba, the third point of the triangle. Here you can see a trailer with selections of scenes of the first channel of the installation.” – Ana Hupe.
CUBA – NIGERIA – ENCOUNTER
Biografía de una Isla
It is true that the contrast between the northern hemisphere winter and the heat of the island made me more sensitive, but that January was also the first month of a retrograde government elected in Brazil? The socialist sentences in the streets of Havana gave me some comfort, they were poetry: “Brillamos con luz propria” (We shine with our own lights), “Trincheras de ideas vale más que trincheras de pedras” (Idea carvers are worth more than stone carvers).
Searching for further sentences, I entered many bookstores. Near the neighbourhood where I stayed, which, by the way, couldn't have a more poetic name, Miramar, I found a shelf located on the balcony of a house. It had only books with yellowing pages.
I found this publication by Emil Ludwig from 1948, Biografía de una isla. I had no reference to the author, nor to the book, but I took it with me and began to read the preface: it was the story of a Cuban Indigenous man who wakes up in the window of a museum in downtown Havana after 500 years and walks down the streets commenting on the changes.
Courtesy of Ana Hupe, Biografía de una Isla (2020) | © Ana Hupe One of the Indigenous leaders in Brazil, Aílton Krenak, tells us that one of the ways to postpone the end of the world is to continue narrating.
This book-object carries one of the many mythologies of the island of Cuba. It brings together socialism, native inhabitants and a critique of colonialism.
Diário de Bordo
On one page, one reads a note by the artist Susanne Wenger, found on the wall of the house where she lived, in Osogbo, Nigeria. Today, her daughter Adedoyin Olosun lives in the same house, where I stayed for some nights. I was confronted by this poem in German on a peeled wall. Those words were an encounter with one of my other worlds, Germany, in Osogbo. The poem said: “Nun sind letzendlich Vögel doch eingeladen, i.e. Jenseits Zeit als es da noch Vögel gab” or “Now the birds are finally invited, i.e. from beyond time when there were still birds”.
Courtesy of Ana Hupe, Diário de Bordo (2020) | © Ana Hupe I didn't really understand the message, but I was getting used to the mysteries. I interpreted the message as if the invitation for the birds to participate in the party had been sent late, now there were no more birds, we went too far in separating from nature. Later, I discovered that Susanne Wenger had a painting from 1947, entitled Die Vögel sind nicht eingeladen (The birds were not invited). In this painting, several birds gather around a dinner table. Many years after the painting, she changed her mind, and left this note so as not to forget to invite the birds again.
On the second diary page, I find a picture of other writings from beyond, messages that I have been learning to read along the streets of Osogbo.
The acaras are often served on used schoolbook pages instead of napkins. On this sheet of paper we read: “How does the Earth revolve around the sun?”
Courtesy of Ana Hupe, Diário de Bordo (2020) | © Ana Hupe Science is one more among many ways to get to know the invisible.
A man was sitting at the door and I asked him if he had a book that taught Yoruba. He said no, but he went to make sure, rummaging through his files while we looked at the other things.
I found a poster from the eighties with slogans from every state in Nigeria. I was enchanted by the phrase that described Osun state: “State of the living spring,” a constant revolution.
The guy who owned it ended up finding a 1980 publication from the University of Ibadan that taught Yoruba to children.
He gave it to me as a gift. It was a beautiful book, but very curious because it taught a language without using a single word. Drawings, exercises of imagination that, I think, only work if activated.
This book-monument, a real challenge to reading, raises up those already yellowed pages detached from the staples. And it celebrates the mystery of the between-the-lines.