The Nichos of San Jacinto

In The Nichos of San Jacinto (2017), Performing Picture was invited to document three sacred statues at the newly restored church of pueblo San Jacinto Ocotlan in Oaxaca Mexico.  The statues are nearly life-size depictions of Our Lady of the Rosary, St. Hyacinth of Poland, and St. Thomas Aquinas the scholastic. These 'santos', are very cherished by the parish and in the project they were recorded through a “slow animation” technique—a unique aesthetic expression that Performing Pictures created and refined over years. The animations were shot in open-air daylight using a homebuilt pinhole camera, then exposed directly onto photographic paper (Ilford grade II). They were recorded image-by-image with long exposures and unpredictable diffractive light properties on moving 3-dimensional objects and rugged textures.  Each image is developed, scanned and printed onto aquarelle paper where the monochrome images are colored by hand. The "new originals" are scanned back into the digital workflow where they are assembled into film-loops of swirling motion with the flutter of individually applied watercolor wash.  The animations are put on digital photo frames (DPF) mounted in hand-crafted altar shrines of burnt cedar wood, decorated with gold leaf and treated with motor oil. The frame around the screen, as well as the doors of each shrine is made of corrugated tin, recycled from private houses in the village of Santa Ana Zegache.    Performing Pictures donated a shrine to the church parish.
Maria de San Jacinto, Ocotlán (2017), Ocotlán, San Jacinto
San Jacinto de San Jacinto, Ocotlán (2017), Ocotlán, San Jacinto
San Tomaso de San Jacinto, Ocotlán (2017), Ocotlán, San Jacinto
Maria Dos Veces - the travelogue (2017), Ocotlán, San Jacinto, Pinhole photography, video and music. Length: 2 minutes.

Documentation of the making of art turned into an experimental field note in video format – and then became an artwork in its own right. The processed footage aims to express the delicate handling of sculptures that mean the world for the community, their transformation through pinhole photography into an electronic medium.