Projects/ Concrete Syncretism

Concrete Syncretism

How do people with intercultural background anchor themselves?

For Rethinking HOME Naro Snackey presents video footage shot in July 2016 of the funeral ceremonies of the Tana Toraya of Southern Sulawesi. The Tana Toraya is a syncretic culture, comprised of both original animistic and Christian-Protestant influences that were brought to Southern Sulawesi by Dutch missionaries in the late 19th century. For the Tana Toraya death and dying are part of a universal cycle. The film shows a funeral procession, after which the deceased is placed in the family mausoleum.

The procession is playful and incomparable with one that might be encountered in the Netherlands. Here as part of the procession people run joyfully through rain puddles with the coffin and throw mud at one another laughing. In addition to the film, a tableau displaying artifacts from a self-made microcosm will be part of the installation. Several wooden photo collages of Indonesian-Dutch immigrants will be displayed on top of old-Greek busts, small wooden and clay animistic objects, paintings and drawings. In a rather playful, associative manner, Snackey aims to bring about processes of selfidentification and the allocation of meaning, as well as the creation of new contemplative actions.

Naro Snackey studies her own cultural identity, her roots, and her personal, biased memories. For her work of the past years she drew a great deal from her personal photographic archive. Images that she evokes in her work are often autobiographical, and represent important events and turning points in her Dutch East Indian family history, which she combines with autonomous, contrasting elements from outside of the photography medium. Her work is realised instinctively. In her work Snackey emphasizes the surface, the skin of her objects. Importantly working through the creative process itself is vital to
the composition of form and content.