Section in progress

Eternity in an Hour


Right click to enlarge

Pencils on Paper
50 x 50 cm    |    19,6 x 19,6 in

The artwork is focusing on the emblematic figure of Charlie Parker
[as Eshu - the trickster God of crossroads in Yoruba culture], the Transatlantic journey and the sincretic history that gave birth to Jazz culture.

So the story behind the drawing begins : in the centre of the circle we find
Olokun (depicted as a Bronze Head of Ife) the Yoruba Orisha - Owner of Deep Ocean.
Blue hydrothermal vents behind Olokun indicates the depth in which the God resides.
Endemic hydrozoans and jellyfish from Atlantic Ocean (Halitrephes Maasi, Holothurian Peniag amongst the others) are swimming in the depth where no light filters.

Approaching the surface of the Ocean, where creatures develop through photosynthesis process, other fish and jellyfishs (like HolacantusIsabelita and Chrysaora Quinquecirrha) rise alongside the portraits of 9 West-Central-South African Peoples.
Kongo, Ovimbundu, Fon, Igbo, Yoruba, Bakongo, Akan, Mandé, Chamba peoples were one of the most prominent groups of the countless deported to the Americas
[source : Gwendolyn Midlo Hall]. Art, habits, beliefs, cosmogony and philosophy taken from that side of the Ocean to the Other have crucially influenced the birth of syncretic cultures - Haitian Vodoun, Louisiana Voodoo, Candomblé and Umbanda in Brazil, Winti in Suriname and Lucumi in Cuba, and so too the history of Jazz.

My artwork metaphorically tries to fulfill the same task that has been so well described by the distinguished author of reference during my extensive research, Prof. Gerhard Kubik :

"[...] I will invite readers to time-travel from Africa to the United States and back, learning about a Ghanaian brass band instructor, visiting nineteenth-century New Orleans on the trail of Marie Laveau, and delving into a photographic riddle concerning Buddy Bolden’s only known picture taken of him and his band around 1900. Much of the space available will be devoted to a presentation of our own field research as it relates to the topic and to attempted historical reconstructions."

From Jazz Transatlantic Vol. I
by Gerhard Kubik

A Mambo and Houngan dressed in traditional immaculate Haitian Vodoun clothes.
Asson, Nkisi, Nganga and Gelede Mask are floating in the air.
Contained in the Nsibidi "Unity" symbol : the miniature portraits of the Mambo Marie Laveau and Houngan Dutty Boukman

Partial bibliography

  • Jazz Transatlantic Vol I. - Gerhard Kubik
  • Flash of the Spirit - Robert Farris Thompson
  • Jazz - Arrigo Polillo
  • Poétique de la Relation - Èdouard Glissant
  • Anaforuana - Lydia Cabrera
  • Haitian Vodu - Alfred Metraux
  • Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti - Maya Deren
  • Encyclopedia of African Religion - Molefi Kete Asante, Ama Mazama
  • Hidden in Plain View - Jacqueline Tobin, Raymond Tobard
  • El perseguidor - Julio Cortázar
  • La Regla - Nicola Lo Calzo
  • VeVe - Milo Rigaud