Conjuntos & Totems
Frans Krajcberg does not copy nature but seeks, through creation, to enter into a relationship with it. Some sculptures are large and heavy, giving the impression that they want to remain rooted in the ground. Their closed shape, even when there are internal voids, give them an undeniable power. Others seem to want to free themselves from the ground with twists that push them upward. Finally, some perform both movements at the same time: up and down.
The artist brings back from his travels in the Amazon, dried up palm trunks with which he composes sculpted sets: the “conjuntos” Rain sticks or totems, they denounce deforestation, as do his photographs. Indian inspiration crosses these barrels vertically, streaked with large wounds, that he likes to collect “in the forest”, on the beach, and photograph in full light. Once again, it is a way to restore strength and life to destroyed elements.
For the works made with this type of material, the creative process begins with the removal of the wet and soft mass that remains inside the trunks, leaving only the envelope. The part used, undergoes some cuts in the stem. The cracked parts are covered with black or red pigments for the majority. New burns are made with a blowtorch to harden the wood.
According to Federico Morais, Frans Krajcberg's residence in the state of Bahia - a place that many consider to be a piece of the African continent in Brazil - where he encountered Candomblé, inspired him to produce Africana in the late 1980s. With this series, he takes his approach even further by incorporating other materials, such as lianas, sticks and stems from other trees, mostly calcined, into the palm trunks. Even if they are not religious, these sculptures have a shamanic aspect and an undeniable relationship with the clothing used in many African rituals.