Guilherme Sussekind Bailey, “Rodopio”

Young Ogan in “Rodopio”, photography, 2020.
Old Ogan in “Rodopio”, photography, 2020.
Video of “Rodopio”, photography, 2020.

Materials: voile and raw cotton.

Dimensions: 100cm x 160cm

Learn more about Guilherme Sussekind Bailey at www.guibailey.com

Artist’s comment: Candomble’s music and movement are the starting point for the reunion of a Brazilian artist based in London with his roots and his mother culture. The many visits to the sacred ground in Bahia, caused Guilherme to exercise a foreigner’s gaze at the same time he dived into his memories and tried to understand this culture as his own. Duality itself is a hallmark of this work, which finds relations and counterpoints in all its aspects. Through the fluidity of the Rodopio, the spin of the trance, the artist finds traces of the audiovisual practice, his craft, in the materiality of the analog photography, his passion. Through the ritual, there is a connection between Brazil and Africa, Bahia and London. While submerging in his past and reflecting on his present condition, he sees several possible dimensions, whether real or dreamlike. Although it seems impossible to mold these diverse dimensions in one image, in an ideal support, the encounter with the fabric seems to favor the authorial and respectful language with which Guilherme addresses the sacred. The materialization of this subjective glance is made through the printing of two or more images, since we are talking about multiple exposures as well, on fabric. The two layers represent the conscious and the unconscious, the material and the spiritual, the earthly and the divine. Raw cotton, heavier and more natural, transmits with its texture the dimension of ancestry. The voile, lighter and transparent, the flight, the smoke, the spiritual, and the possibilities of hope, a feeling everyone brings to visit the home of the saints. Music also plays an important role in this ritualistic encounter with himself, referring to the memories of his musician father and also one of the fathers of the Bossa Nova rhythm. In this sense, the decision to use the fabric is fitting, because it implies that the movement of the observer generates the movement of the work itself. As it is a considerable size print, being 1.60 m high, the result of the wind of the visitor’s passage becomes a dance of the fabric, a waiving flag of his personal story. Photography is still photography, but it comes to life with the combination of factors, in an assemblage that is totally connected with the concept of the Rodopio. The conception of this work departure from an image to also bring a sensation and Guilherme manages to solve, in one single piece, the whole range of feelings that encloses his experience. But still, there is always a pending future; the little boy represents the belief in a possible outcome that is in the hands of God.