I came decided to write you a short but concise email. And I faced the curious sintony of the importance of music in our letters…how beautiful. Sometimes I also listen what you were listening when I want to think, or look serious. I carry a rare feeling and by reading our correspondence I also notice what is to be in a residency and work with people…I’m dislocated so there are new things, that even in my country don’t stop surprising me: words, habits, foods (today I tried black pork’s cheeks, excellent). There are new people to meet always, although you want to establish a special relation as they are your work mates, but above that, they are people from the place, that make the place, and that can also result in being friends. And you still have a goal, in my case my project as a very defined goal from the beginning (unlike yours). And I’m far from everyone, communicating by skype and by phone. (I write at the same time to Miguel that says he would have loved to come and film my painting today).
I’m both curious and with tourist distance at the same time. Crazy focused on work. So it is hard to process in useful time something concrete to day…besides memories and disperse connections with myself or fantasy…I don’t have time to read or quote…or even check the references you sent earlier…maybe tomorrow, It is very cold and the working conditions are not the best… in my room the books are getting waved by humidity…I hope the heater will make them straight again…It rained all day with a few moments of pause. I started painting at the beginning of afternoon in one of those pauses but it soon started to rain again. Strongly. I couldn’t even take more pictures. Suddenly I was on top of a garbage bin with the guys that clean the streets, with three man around, one holding the garbage bin, another passing me the paint bucket and the third one watching (besides the typical Portuguese “problem solvers” improvising the lack of the ladder, not even the rainy day was missing…) this scene is at the level of a real anecdote that happened a few years ago in São Cristóvão when it snowed in Alentejo (South of Portugal):
A very irritated man came and asked the mayor: “how is it possible that the roads are possible and the city hall doesn’t have a truck to clean the snow?”
Yes, painting in November with rain is at the same level of probability than snow blocking the roads in Alentejo or even less…But we do what we got to do for the façade to be ready for the TV. In this case I hope to have managed to make the circumstances, if rain hasn’t washed the paintings during the night…I thought that the only thing I know that holds with humidity is the glue to stick the denture to the gum…I tried once in the tongue just for fun and didn’t want to believe (detail).
Thanks for the correction with Napoleon, I don’t know which one is true or if he would have said both. I keep the good mood that we can change the return in our favor. I will then tell you for which side did luck fall and in which quote did the project end.
And small notes that keep my attention and that later on will be in my head for a while. I keep collecting events. ..I don’t know if you ever saw my diary of events in Odivelas, where there was a bath on the road, it was for some geese that a man was raising in the garage. Or the “saint of shit”, an image of Virgin Mary above some concrete sheckles, illuminated at night and painted with color and drawings… decorated…well, and that was on a pedestal next to the church under construction. Things that could perfectly marry with this marble computer that decorates the grave in the cemetery that I see from the window of my room. And that always wakes my up with a smile of black humor…I can’t avoid although I already know that is the grave of a kid that was always playing on his pc and his parents asked to make this sculpture in his memory…(memory and monuments…I will comment on your email later on)
The same kind of stuff is the stories of the people from the village. Today the mayor told me that he was a hip hop dancer during ten years and that he even travelled as a dancer… and dance again in our letters…by the way I have to send you a picture that they took while I was painting, where my feat are making points, I couldn’t believe…so ridiculous and so mine…
I’d like to send you pictures of this part and ask you (if it’s ok with you) to print them in the form of a postcard and send them here. It would be a way of bringing you here as well. Would that be possible? It wouldn’t be many, but I’d like to see the evolution of my work connected to postcards from you printed in the wall of my bedroom…
I’m very tired and I have to sleep. Today it was the radio interview where at the end of everything I said the journalist asked the mayor “Mr. President please explain as if I were a child…”. I hope there won’t be problems with what I said. I told the purpose of my proposal, I said it was a proposal of freedom, a moment of affirmation that I thought to be important for the locals while Portuguese people and recalling José Gil that says we are afraid of existing… to place on the walls whatever one wants and whatever one wants to propose for the community more than being stocked in memories (I said if we would keep it within the territory of memory I would be sad) it’s an act of affirmation.
See what comes out of that. They placed the posters for the opening without sending the flyers, so no one knew very well what is going to be done and one lady though I was going to paint their façades without permission, during the night, that I would paint tiny flowers and another one that I would paint Santa Claus on the windows… God…they are very far from seeing themselves doing whatever…surprise, surprise…
It’s cold and my books are wrinkling… No, and on top of that one of them is not mine, it’s borrowed from Pedro…
Tomorrow I comment on your email