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THE UNFAMILIAR ASSIMILATED

Paula Ramos

It is well known and everyone says that there are certain demons that the Brazils call Curupira, which often attack the Indians in the jungle, giving them a whipping, injuring them and killing them. Our Brothers have witnessed this, having sometimes seen the people they have killed. For this reason the Indians customarily leave bird feathers, fans, arrows and suchlike on a particular path through rough vegetation to their lands at the top of the highest mountain as a kind of offering, ardently beseeching that the Curupiras do them no harm[1].

So wrote José de Anchieta (1534–1587) in his tenth letter about Brazil, of May 31, 1560, thus giving “truthful evidence” of one of the most persistent of Brazilian myths, the Curupira. Even today, many people in the north of the country state without hesitation that they have seen it, describing a small, agile mestizo Indian with feet pointing backwards, sometimes with a bald head, and often with red hair. The lord of the jungle and the animals, it knows and protects its secrets. Luís da Câmara Cascudo (1898–1986), in his Geografia dos Mitos Brasileiros, recalls Couto de Magalhães’s (1837–1898) O Selvagem (1876), in which the author states:

When travelling by river in Pará, and hearing some distant thud in the middle of the woods, the pilgrims say that the Curupira is knocking on the sapipema trees to see if they are strong enough to withstand a coming storm. The Curupira’s job is to protect the forests. Anything that knocks down or in any way needlessly harms the trees is punished by the Curupira, becoming lost in the woods for long periods an unable to find the way home or any way of reaching their companions.[2]

Curupira: the inscription over the body leaves no room for doubt.  Inert in the empty space, the immaculate white and – even – frozen space, it is strangely disturbing in this “non place” that relates to the tradition of taxonomic drawing. The image engenders a fiction in which the Curupira has not just been captured but killed, its existence proven by dissection.  The wonderful procedure is also a fantasy: the body is portrayed to allow an internal view, in an inside-outside relationship. And not all of it has been dissected, only the parts that the dissector has deemed worthy of scrutiny. These are highlighted alongside the image, accompanied by handwritten texts like the annotations of a scientist. The note about the foot ligaments, for example, says:

The ligaments of the right foot can be observed from the back and the sides in the figure. The foot is quite a complicated structure, containing 26 bones (1/8 of all the bones in the human body), 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons, which form the structure as a whole and allow various movements, except that in the Curupira, these are pointing backwards – although they can support and move the weight of the body while walking and running.

The Curupira anatomist has long been an advocate of visual trickery. Walmor Corrêa came to domestic and international recognition after taking part in the 28th São Paulo Biennial in 2004, showing animal hybrids and skeletons in the Catalogações series.[3] These works already included texts, indicating his creatures’ characteristics and features. Apterigiformes Aço II (mil e uma utilidades), a mixture of bird and monkey, or even sloth, also contained physical and evolutionary information:

A hybrid of two almost extinct species – the Lilliuns Artemísio pheasant, with tender pink flesh and highly treasured plumage, and the Aço Trimegeoteis, long used as a fertility charm, powerful aphrodisiac, energising tonic, purifying beverage, invigorating balm, analgesic plaster and when licked emitting a strong curative smell. Its properties were appreciated by the legendary nomadic tribes of the rainforests of New Guinea. The genetic compatibility of two species led to the phenomenon known as “evolutionary transmigratory crossing” – which helped in the intermixing of species and their subsequent survival.

The text in itself is a joke. It offers the reader further support for entering the world of the artist, marked strongly by highly refined drawing technique, a counterpoint between science and fantasy, critical debate about nature and culture, and an unusual interweaving of meanings between images and texts.

Looking to the drawing, the viewer will probably immediately be captivated by the elegant and delicate quality of line. The artist has always valued accurate line, looking to the delicacy of taxonomic imagery in 18th- and 19th-century Natural History compendiums and the work of travelling artists. This similarity lies not just in the treatment of line and surface but also in the organisation of space. Images produced for taxonomic purposes have historically displayed constant characteristics such as: [1] the use of foreground placement; [2] abolition of background, which was seen as a disturbing element; [3] presentation of at least three variations of the represented object.[4] These elements also appear in the artist’s work and prioritise the act of observation. Discussing both the characteristic of taxonomic drawing and the primacy of observation, Michel Foucault (1926–1984), states:

To observe, then, is to be content with seeing – with seeing a few things systematically. With seeing what, in the rather confused wealth of representation, can be analysed, recognised by all, and thus given a name that everyone will be able to understand: ‘All obscure similitudes,’ said Linnaeus, ‘are introduced only to the shame of art’. Displayed in themselves, emptied of all resemblances, cleansed even of their colours, visual representations will now at last be able to provide natural history with what constitutes its proper object, with precisely what it will convey in the well-made language it intends to construct. This object is the extension of which all natural beings are constituted – an extension that may be affected by four variables. And by four variables only: the form of the elements, the quantity of those elements, the manner in which they are distributed in space in relation to each other, and the relative magnitude of each element.[5]

The variables listed by Foucault can be seen (albeit not strictly) in Walmor’s Apêndices (2003–2004) and also in some of the images from the Insetos series (2002–2003) and the Gaveteiro Entomológico (2003).  But it is more interesting to see how he presents what Linnaeus calls the ‘obscure similitudes’. What connects his creatures, besides their hybrid and eccentric nature and the ways in which they are inconsistent with reality, is quite naturally the state of merciless pain they suffer. In the world as we know it, a fish with wings would die of suffocation on leaving the water; birds with excessively curved beaks would never be able to feed; legless frogs with dragonfly wings would be unable to fly… A clear and manifest perversity is masked by the gentle lines of the drawing. Like a demiurge, the artist creates impossible creatures to his heart’s content, and admits to being enchanted by their bizarre forms. This perversity and strangeness, so present in the Dioramas (2002), are what unify their visual trickery, as the artist himself states:

When I started making the hybrids, I worked with subtle deformations. For example, you can see from a distance that it’s a chicken, but when you get closer you see that the beak is very small, and the feet are tiny as well. In other words it is an unviable animal, but it manages to convince the less attentive viewer, which is something I have never been. I am fascinated to watch someone looking at one of my pictures. I love hearing what they say.  Even viewers who consider themselves more intelligent are prepared talk nonsense in front of them, such as: Oh, these chickens are interesting. And I’d say: No, they’re not chickens, because they couldn’t eat, since the beak is no use. And they couldn’t walk either, because the feet don’t work.  […] Until one day a man looked at me and said: Well, your work’s very beautiful, but all these creatures will die! He had broken the riddle. Once I had been ‘unmasked’, let’s say, I felt I could devote myself fully to my work and those games, now in a more direct way. I mean there was no ingenuity in my work. First of all it was my own personal diversion, a little egotistical perhaps, of wanting to be attracted by the figure, of wanting to adjust the form, but then I got involved in other issues.[6]

By making reference to taxonomic drawing, the artist adopts the “discourse of truth” historically represented by this technique of representation, but he does so ironically. And this reveals another striking element of his creative practice: the dialogue between science and fantasy, which also feeds a considerable portion of his personal inquiries.

One of the most important passages from my work is undoubtedly related to the episode of the beetle. The Reynolds Number is a kind of mathematical formula for working out whether something can fly or not. The Reynolds Number says, strange though it may seem, that a chicken can fly; so can a goose. This number works for everything we know that flies, apart from the beetle. Physics and aerodynamics state that the beetle should never fly, but it does!!![7]

The shock of learning this information also related to Walmor’s own status as an artist.

And suddenly I saw myself as a beetle. I realised that despite all the problems related to the position of the artist in Brazil, the condition of the artist in Porto Alegre, despite the solitary nature of my work, distant from other artists, despite the various barriers, I was an artist, I managed to make things. Everything seemed to conspire against me succeeding; things were programmed not to work, but to some extent they were working, I was flying, like the beetle.[8]

 

THE MOST PERFECT WONDER

History is full of supposedly scientific texts that can construct “truths”. The descriptions of Sir John Mandeville’s travels (14th century?), for example, were written in the late Middle Ages and for a long time enjoyed the status of truth, simply through the fact of the author confirming at the end of each event that he had proven and witnessed what took place. And the claim of reality based on a body that witnessed everything with its own senses was so strong that it was gradually consolidated and developed through its various transcriptions and translations. So one English translator of the stories about fish produced in a sea of sand and sheep that grew on trees added: “I, John Mandeville, have eaten the flesh and believe in this, since it is the genuine truth”. In Marvelous Possessions, Stephen Greenblatt asks: Why the insistence? He also hazards a response: to heighten the authority and pleasure of the text. And he suggests that the solution might be found in a travesty of the Benedictine monk Anselm’s (1033–1109) proof: “The most perfect wonder is one that is also a material reality and the reality claim is more powerful than reality itself”.[9]

Mandeville’s adventures were so well known that even Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) carried a copy with him on the voyage that led to the conquest of America. And, amazing though it may seem, places described in detail, such as the “Well of Youth” were only considered fictitious from the early 19th century, leaving only the author himself as a reality; while by the end of the century he was also denounced as a fiction himself.[10]

Fictions, inventions. The maps of the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly those relating to the New World, are rich in depictions of fantastic creatures and non-existent places. This is the cartography of the marvellous, a fictitious geography. The whole of European imagery, crystallised over centuries of myths and beliefs, projected onto unknown lands the probability of things existing for which there was no more room in the Old World. Creatures like Amazons, harpies, the cynocephalus, the mermaid and the unicorn might be possible on the distant, wild and bestial continent revealed to Europe by Columbus and Vespucci (1451–1512).[11] And since mapping means representing power and domination over a particular space, such images, arranged on a cartographic projection and considered as axioms, ended up acquiring the status of truth, until another truth was imposed through the mutation of the “discoveries” and Science itself. Once again there is a play of reality and imagination. A play that the text helps to support.

A scientific image (or a pictorial representation of scientific content) is always conceived to give the appearance of reality, that is, intended to represent the object as observed by the investigator. According to Karl Popper, these images only in the best case tell us about the “world of the observer’s conscious experiences”. This subjective or personal aspect is fundamental in understanding scientific imagery considered as art and is a decisive element for its study as science.[12]

The texts in Walmor Corrêa’s works, in the style of a researcher in front of his object of study, unfold in a variety of ways, perhaps indicating the “scientific names” of the presented species, for example[13]; perhaps discussing or complementing the images and telling anecdotes or elaborate jokes; or they might simply be a connection of words and sounds that restate the artist’s fascination with the form.

If we look again at the Apêndices, we can see that on the one hand Walmor connects a charming hybrid to a similarly beguiling text, full of unusual words and falsely scientific construction, and on the other he works with magnificent drawing and the arrangement of elements on the space of the canvas in the style of old Natural History compendiums. In other words there is both a trap set up by the conjunction of figure and form, and the artifice of truth and science suggested by the structure of presentation; there is both crystal-clear deception in the content and legitimising discourse in the format. A tension between the constitutive parts of the work permeates all of the artist’s work: its ironies, parodies and questioning of science, with its temporary truths; the process of hybridisation of creatures; the names they are given; the extraordinary descriptions of the specimens; the way in which they are classified. This tension is embodied in the work, made present in it; it is also what stimulates the viewer to scrutinise the suggested relationships.

 

UNHEIMLICH

[…] I saw three mermaids who came quite high out of the water […] They were not as pretty as they are depicted, for somehow in the face they look like men.

The above quotation comes from Christopher Columbus’s diary relating to his voyage in the region of present-day Haiti[14]. What did he see, then? Manatees? In the entry for November 4, 1492, the explorer suggests an apparent confirmation of those wonders after having (somehow) questioned the Indians “[…] there were one-eyed men, and others, with snouts of dogs, who ate men, and that as soon as one was taken they cut his throat and drank his blood and cut off his genitals”[15]. But when he later writes his first letter he appears much more sceptical, not to say frustrated: “[…] In these islands I have so far found no human monstrosities, as many expected, but on the contrary the whole population is very well-formed”.[16]

Similar passages mark many reports by the first travellers to the New World. There was a tacit desire to confirm the rich imagery of western civilization, which had been fed since Antiquity by an understanding of a known world, Oikoumene, and a world beyond those borders populated by all kinds of hybrids and aberrations. America, and Brazil in particular, with its dense forests, abundant rivers and tribes of cannibals, loomed as the perfect setting for such projections, which were confirmed by the first chroniclers.

Anchieta’s biographer, Simão de Vasconcelos (1596–1671), writes the following about the human groups living in Brazil:

[…] There is another nation of giants, sixteen palms tall, courageous, adorned with pieces of gold in their lips and noses, to whom all the others pay respect: their name is the coruqueans. Finally there is another nation of women, equally monstrous in their way of living (which we call ‘amazons’ today, similar to those of Antiquity, and after whom the river is named), because they are warrior women who live by themselves, without the involvement of men; they occupy large settlements of a whole province, cultivating the soil and supporting themselves by their own labour.[17]

Another Jesuit, Fernão Cardim (1549–1625), uses some pages of his book Tratados da Terra e da Gente do Brasil  to testify to the existence of the “Igpupiara”:

[…]  The natives are so frightened of it that many have died, and none that has seen it has escaped; some have now died and when asking the cause they said that they had seen the monster; they seem to be men of good stature but they have very sunken eyes. The females seem like women, with long hair, and are beautiful; these monsters can be found at sandbars on freshwater rivers.[18]

Later the author tells of the tragedies caused by this creature:

[…] In Jagoarigipe, seven or eight leagues from Bahia, many have been found; in the year of eighty-two, an indian going to fish was chased by one and told the master while hiding on his raft; seeking to enliven the Indian, the master wanted to see the monster, and carelessly leaving a hand outside the canoe, he was taken and never seen again, and the same year another Indian belonging to Francisco Lourenço Caeiro. Some have been seen in Porto Seguro and some Indians have died. They kill by strongly embracing the person, kissing and squeezing tight to leave it pieces, remaining whole and feeling dead they make some groans of feeling, and flee; and if they carry some off they eat only the eyes, nose and fingers and toes, and the genitalia, and they are commonly found on the beaches lacking such things.[19]

Mixing together astute description and vivid narrative, writings about fantastic Brazilian zoology continue to fascinate us today. Wilson Bueno (1949–2010), the writer from Paraná, uses a similar format in his book Jardim Zoológico (1999), introducing us to the “Agôalumen”:

[…] The early Portuguese explorers witnessed the apparition on the western Atlantic route to the Indies – in waters rarely visited by adventurous sailors themselves – an extraordinary monster in every sense: the Agôalumen, a sea and air monster capable of flying at considerable altitudes and returning intact to the bottom of the sea, and hurling itself into the open sea at night. […] Some reports say that on nightmarish nights, now more than five centuries ago, the sailors cried out endlessly while dreaming of the Agôalumen in their bunks – “oh marvel”, “oh marvel”, “oh marvel”… [20]

Much of the singular meeting of cultures that occurred in Brazil from the 16th century is due to the idea of the marvellous, the central feature of a complex system of representation in which, according to Greenblatt, “[…] people in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance apprehended and thence possessed or discarded the unfamiliar, the alien, the terrible, the desirable and the hateful.”[21] He adds:

Wonder precedes, even escapes moral categories. When we wonder, we do not yet know if we love or hate the object at which we are marvelling; we do not know if we should embrace it or flee from it. For this reason wonder, Descartes argues, has no opposite and is the first of all the passions.[22]

When he introduces his dissected creatures, connecting layers of history and tradition, Walmor Corrêa allows us a sigh of wonder. There they are; in addition to the Curupira and the Ipupiara, there is the Cachorra da Palmeira, a mixture of woman and dog from an Alagoas legend[23]; the Capelobo, half man, half anteater, from the Xingu; and the Ondina, the terrifying seductive mermaid of the Bahian coast, known as Iara in Amazon legend, the lady of the fresh waters: “It is beautiful, but it is death… it is the Iara”.[24] These creatures have occupied the popular Brazilian imagination for centuries and can be found in literature, music and visual representation.

The German title to the series Unheimlich, was taken from the 1919 writings of Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) discussing the disturbing impression which “[…] binds together things that have been known for a long time and familiar forever”.[25] Elisabeth Roudinesco and Michel Plon comment on this Freudian concept and single out the strange fact of reactivating “[…] primitive forces that civilisation seemed to have forgotten and the individual imagined had been overcome. In the figure of the double or the automaton an apparently inanimate being becomes alive and a lifeless object is presumed animate”.[26]

Looking at the Brazilian artist’s dissected creatures, displayed amazingly to human scale and proportion, we are to some extent confronted by “our own body”. We recognise the anatomy of heart and digestive system, the structure of the brain and the representation of muscles. Not everything has been dissected, only the parts that the dissector deemed worthy of scrutiny. The body has been cut open in the thorax, picking out the details for discussion. At this point, instead of uncompromisingly and mockingly describing the function of the organs, as he did in the Apêndices, Walmor has chosen to refer to doctors, constructing a hypothetical legitimising scientific discourse. So despite being imaginary, the writings take on a serious tone, as if wishing to attest to the existence of these creatures, and therefore the whole mythical-literary tradition (not to mention the enthusiastic accounts of popular imagination!)

This aim is emphasised by the artist setting his creations in the format of anatomy atlases, like the ones used in the education of several generations of students and which still survive wanly in classrooms to this day. With their detailed outlines and objective explanations, these books became study guides, explaining the “truth” that is hidden and mysterious to the senses, unseen beneath the skin: the inside of the human body. By making use of the form and legacy of these atlases Walmor Corrêa sets up a new tension, reclaiming a scientific condition for these dissected creatures through the support chosen for conveying this “undoubted knowledge”.

Continuing the 2005 series and exploring the same format, the artist has also charted three comic-book and international pop-culture characters: Cheetah, a hybrid of woman and cheetah; Penguin, a cross between human and penguin; and Spiderman, whose story has been extensively exploited by the cinema for decades. Printed on Somerset Velvet paper[27], his atlas thus disseminates new knowledge, spread by art rather than science.

 

WHEN MYTH MEETS REALITY

In 2008, Walmor Corrêa was invited for a three-month residency by the Spanish Can Xalant Foundation in Mataró, and developed a group of works that concludes his cycle of hybrid humans and whose mode of composition and presentation opens a new and important approach.

Titled Teiniaguá, the series is based on the eponymous character, which is one of the key figures in the imagery of Rio Grande do Sul, presented by Simões Lopes Neto (1865–1916) in his A Salamanca do Jarau:

[…] In the land of the Spaniards on the other side of the sea, there was a city called Salamanca, where the Moors lived, Moors who were masters of the arts of magic; and they kept the magic wand in a dark cave, because the white sunlight was said to break the power of witchcraft… The wand was kept by a charming and beautiful princess, as beautiful as only she could be… During the month of Lent, the Moors mocked the fasting of the Christians and soon lost a fierce battle; and the losers were forced to kneel at the foot of the holy cross… beating their chests and begging forgiveness… Then, later, some of them pretended to be Christians and crossed the sea to arrive at these quiet lands, seeking wealth, gold, silver, fine stones and scented fruits… […] And they brought with them the old spirit, who had been a beautiful young princess… […] So those Moors reached the shores of the Pampas people. […] And as their souls were condemned, they had hardly set foot on land when at midnight on the first Friday they were visited by their same Devil, who on this side of the world was called Anhangá-Pitã and highly respected. […]  Hearing that they had aspired to vanquish the cross with the power of the crescent, the evil magician took the magic wand […] rubbed it in the sweat of his body and turned it into transparent stone; and hurling the burning breath of his chest against the Moorish spirit, he changed her into to Teiniaguá, without a head. And for the head he then fixed the wand onto the new body of the enchanted stone. […] The cave of that encounter is called Salamanca; and the name was used for all the caves, in memory of the city of those master magicians.[28]

The salamanca of the myth is an enchanted cave near the Cerro do Jarau in Rio Grande do Sul, where the Moorish princess brought by the Spaniards lived in total seclusion distant from other people, condemned to eternal solitude, promising endless wealth to anyone… Using her magic wand the princess would grant all the wishes of anyone who looked upon her. But despite ensuring possible happiness to the messenger, this princess was also cursed, for in order to retain her powers she was forced to remain isolated in a dark, mournful place. And as if that were not enough, once arriving on Brazilian soil her rare beauty was destroyed. The “devil”, greeting her and demonstrating his greater power, transformed her into a “teiniaguá”, a kind of salamander… What possible life would the princess have in such conditions?

Walmor’s researches into the Mataró region revealed it to be home to a large industrial plant employing many women, mostly poor immigrants. Like thousands of other workers, they lived in the “La Mina” district of nearby Barcelona. Amazed by the nominal coincidence, Walmor also came across other surprises: “La Mina”, with its history of social problems, recorded high rates of violence and disease, particularly among women. The artist soon established the subjective and symbolic bridge between the myth of the Teiniaguá and conditions in Spain:

I thought that the driving character of the project would be those women whose “princess dreams” had been stolen. Although in the legend the Teiniaguá was a princess, it was not just her beauty and youth that were destroyed, as she was condemned to survive in isolation, in the darkness, certainly in a depressive and degenerative state… I asked myself whether she might also have developed organic pathologies.[29]

With the assistance of the Can Xalant Foundation, Walmor interviewed dozens of women from “La Mina”, who marked the most painful areas of their bodies on a chart depicting the female body. Talking with doctors in local hospitals, he then identified the main ailments and projected them onto the dissected inert body of the beautiful and cursed Moorish princess. And there they are represented, the recurrent pains, the swollen tendons, and the distorted organs.

Like the Unheimlich hybrids, the highlighted parts also include written comments. But the source of the myth and the marginal status of these workers are reinforced by writing the text in Arabic. Distant from our own culture, the angular, sensual lines of this script offer the comfort of “illegibility” to most people educated in the European circle of references.

Teiniaguá is the work that Walmor Corrêa has spent most time working on: 2008–2012. It is also one of the most intriguing, due to the geographical and literary connections that made it possible and the political developments suggested. The carefully observed working process indicates the stages of the work’s development: reading, research, study, observation, understanding, proposition and execution. All with the utmost rigour and detail, with no naivety. Within the formal and conceptual logic that structures the works, the details have to be precise: too much might disrupt the fictional construct; too little might make it implausible.

Permeated by different tensions, the creative practice of this amazing artist seems to dialogue with Michel Foucault’s statement on the nature of representation in the Modern Age: “There must be, in the things represented, the insistent murmur of resemblance; there must be, in the representation, the perpetual possibility of imaginative recall”.[30] In tune with this dual requirement, Walmor Corrêa’s images surprise our senses and alleged certainties. The artist’s awareness of his historical and interpretive involvement, and his fascination for life in its multiple and strange forms, uses a basis of fantasy and myth to touch poetically on reality.


[1] In CASCUDO, Luís da Câmara. Geografia dos Mitos Brasileiros. São Paulo: Global Editora, 2002, p. 112.
[2] Idem, p. 107.
[3] The series of 16 paintings consisted of ten representations of hybrid and imaginary animals and a further six skeletons of these same creatures. The artist also calls these works Apêndices.
[4] Cf. MASSIRONI, Manfredo. Ver pelo Desenho. Lisboa: Edições 70, 1996, p. 61.
[5] FOUCAULT, Michel. The Order of Things. New York: Vintage Books, 1994 [1966], p. 133.
[6] Interviewed by the author in April 2006.
[7] Interviewed by the author in October  2004.
[8] Idem.
[9]  GREENBLATT, Stephen. Marvelous Possessions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991, p36.
[10] Idem.
[11] On this topic, see: BELLUZZO, Ana Maria. O Brasil dos Viajantes. São Paulo: Objetiva; Metalivros, 2000 [1994]. GREENBLATT, Stephen. Marvelous Possessions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991. MIX, Miguel Rojas. América Imaginaria. Barcelona: Editorial Lúmen, 1992. TAUNAY, Afonso d’Escragnolle. Monstros e Monstrengos do Brasil: Ensaios sobre a Zoologia Fantástica Brasileira nos séculos XVII e XVIII. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1998. TAUNAY, Afonso d’Escragnolle. Zoologia Fantástica do Brasil (Séculos XVI e XVII). São Paulo: Editora da Universidade de São Paulo: Museu Paulista da Universidade de São Paulo, 1999. ZIEBELL, Zinka. Terra de Canibais. Porto Alegre: Editora da UFRGS, 2002.
[12] TRABULSE, Elias. El Lenguaje y la Imagen. In: Arte y Ciencia en la Historia de Mexico. Ciudad del Mexico: Fomento Cultural Banamex, 1995, p. 23.
[13] It is interesting to note that many of the invented species have been given German names, certainly because the language itself allows words to be joined together, creating terms that are as curious as the artist’s hybrids.
[14] In GREENBLATT, Stephen. Marvelous Possessions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991 p. 75.
[15] Idem.
[16] Ibidem.
[17] In TAUNAY, Afonso d’Escragnolle. Monstros e Monstrengos do Brasil: Ensaios sobre a Zoologia Fantástica Brasileira nos séculos XVII e XVIII. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1998, p.123.
[18] In TAUNAY, Afonso d’Escragnolle. Zoologia Fantástica do Brasil (Séculos XVI e XVII). São Paulo: Editora da Universidade de São Paulo: Museu Paulista da Universidade de São Paulo, 1999, p. 103.
[19] Idem.
[20] BUENO, Wilson. Jardim Zoológico. São Paulo: Iluminuras, 1999, p. 29-32.
[21] GREENBLATT, Stephen. Marvelous Possessions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991, p. 23.
[22] Idem, p. 20.
[23] One of the most popular figures in Brazil, Father Cícero Romão Batista died in the town of Juazeiro, Ceará, on July 20, 1934. The mourning, grieving community has not ceased to remember the priest; women withdrawn into black clothing prayed constantly, commending the soul of one they had always considered a saint. But one day a girl who was uncomfortable with the grief of the others and who had just lost a puppy that had not even been given a name, said that it would be better to mourn the dog than the loss of the priest. Minutes later, in a phenomenon only explicable as divine wrath, the little girl was overcome by the desire to bite, bark, howl and run like a dog, until she actually changed into one as punishment. She is known as the Cachorra da Palmeira, condemned to have puppies that are also a mixture of dog and person.
[24] CASCUDO, Luís da Câmara. Lendas Brasileiras. Rio de Janeiro: Ediouro, 2000, p. 19.
[25] Cf. ROUDINESCO, Elisabeth & PLON, Michel. Dicionário de Psicanálise. Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Editor, 1998, p. 383.
[26] Idem.
[27] Each image in the series is produced in an edition of 10 (atlas).
[28] LOPES NETO, Simões. A Salamanca do Jarau. In: LOPES NETO, Simões. Lendas do Sul. Porto Alegre: Editora Globo, 1974. p. 26-30. The legend was originally published in 1913.
[29] Interviewed by the author in March 2013.
[30] FOUCAULT, Michel. The Order of Things. New York: Vintage Books, 1994 [1966], p. 77.