Watch/Read/Travel: Federico Durand

July 13, 2016

I would love to introduce you, in case you haven’t discovered it yet, Heinrich Vogeler’s world. He lived and created in Worpswede, Northern Germany, during the late 19th century. Vogeler made paintings and etchings, wrote poetry and designed gardens inspired by the harshness and light of peasant life. I was lucky to see an exhibition in Museo de Arte Decorativo de Buenos Aires some years ago with Vogeler and his friends’ works. I felt deeply moved by not only the quality of their books and drawings, but also by their deep beliefs.

Heinrich Vogeler: Frühlingsblumen (1899)

Heinrich Vogeler: Frühlingsblumen (1899)

Marosa di Giorgio was a poet born in Salto, Uruguay. She spent her childhood on her family’s farm. There, in the fields and gardens inhabited by gods and the shadow of her ancestors, by animals and plants, she had a vision dancing in front of her and it’s the main subject of her unique poetry. Some people think that if you read any Marosa’s poem, you can enter (forever) a forest of haunted appearances.

Marosa di Giorgio

Marosa di Giorgio

This is an English translation of a Marosa poem:

“The mushrooms are born in silence;
some of them are born in silence,
others with a brief shriek, a soft thunder.
Some are white, others pink;
that one is gray and looks like a dove,
the statue of a dove; still others are gold or purple.
Each one bears – and this is what’s awful –
the initials of the corpse it comes from.
I do not dare to eat them;
that most tender meat is our relative.

But, come afternoon the mushroom buyer arrives and starts picking.
My mother gives him permission.
He chooses like an eagle.
This one white as sugar, a pink one, a gray one.

My mother does not realize that she is selling her race.”

 

Charity seal made by Lotte Reiniger

Charity seal made by Lotte Reiniger

I want to tell you a little bit about my stamp collection. A few years ago, with my friend Tomoyoshi Date, visited Tübingen, the town where Friedrich Hölderlin lived the half of his life. We went there to make recordings and visit the village, which looks like a fairy tale. In Tübingen I had a vivid impression that there is a mysterious and marvelous world and it’s really close to us. Sometimes, when I want to remember that feeling of being suspended between time and fantasy, I browse my album of stamps. I collect Christmas seals and charity stamps issued by orphanages and hospices. The most beautiful were made during the early 20th century. Denmark, Sweden and Finland made very eerie, fairy and rare items. We all know that we can travel very far while listening music. Something similar happens to me with my favorite charity seals – which reveal (and also hide) the misty world of childhood.

(Federico Durand)


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