2 Jun 2012
Case study: 

Free Tags: capilla, santa ana

The metall door for the battery compartment was ready this day – manufactured by a welder from the Protestant family on the other side of the road. Working during a Saturday proved to be quite festive – the other chavos from the taller (workshop) joined in the afternoon and brought giant beers called caguamas. And Chiquis snuck off to his English course in the ciudad of Oaxaca – that he attends every week. We ended this marvellous Saturday by some Afterwork and a birthday party!
Finally, we ended up at a birthday party! Dona Paola (lady in the middle with a white t-shirt) was celebrated. In the background is the new house that is getting built – we got the coarse sand for the chapel from her. Thanks, Dona Paola!, Erik is putting our things together: the cement, the lime, the tools (such as the universally useful machete) – we store them over night at ur nearest neighbour, Don Pedro's place., Today's date!, Chiquis is cleaning the joints between the bricks using a small piece of wood with the head of a nail sticking out of it 1.5 cm. Once those joints are claned – the texture of the walls made out red bricks come out real well., Since we allready had started a bit of partying during worktime, we just went with the flow and continued with the guys to different cantinas/shops (there are very in Zegache – the system is you go to the tienda/shop buy your beers and sit outside drinking it, coming back with the empty bottle)., Eric and Đani are sitting outside one of the many tiendas (there is a grossery shop in virtually every second house), enjoying one of many beers., Chiquis is inspecting the door. It closes. And it opens. All seems in place., To get the door in place, we drilled through the metall and the brick and attached it with screws. We borrowed some electricity from our neighbour Don Pedro as this was one of the rare occasions that we used a power tool., Once the door was in place, we could continue with the bricklaying., The metall door was now firmly atached and the boys had come from the taller with an entire case of caguamas: 1 litre bottles of beer named after a Spanish word for small turtles., BUILDING A CHAPEL - DAY 8, We skipped lunch and got our nourishment from beer. Besides, Đani had had a stomach issue going on for 6 straight days and he as really living off beer. Here's me and Lao in one of the few shades around the future chapel (the tree we didn't cut down ;), With the door in place, the next level completed it was time to make cast the next sheet of concrete – tha base for the actual chapel! As allways, the armature was knitted together by hand – and by Chiquis., We had a lot of company while filling the first compartment of the chapel with concrete. Still, more hands are not necessary useful for more work – that's the curse of smaller construction project!


1 Jun 2012
Case study: 

Free Tags: capilla, santa ana

The more stones we can get, the less concrete we need to mix. Both me and Scooby have been out with the caretilla to collect.
We got out to Zegache even later this mornig due to blocked off roads (we're hearing that there will also be demonstrations AGAINST the school teachers' strike – I am not sure what to get out of that. Even Georgina claims that it is mainly about enriching the union not the teachers). But it is a nice and cloudy day for construtction work.
Đani takes a break on the other (Protestant) side of the road – next to Scooby's bike., Allways the same goat! Being the last one in the herd and stopping by to get some water (that we use for soaking the bricks)., I'm constantly running off to get the camera. Need to document the entire process. It is tedious work, but someone has to do it. Smile!, Yet another group photo. Đani has covered the concrete blocks with a first coating., When we have filled it with concrete and big stones it is time fto sign it with the next date. We are off to lunch!, We have already eaten but this soup is about soaking the red bricks so that they will stick together with the cement when we start with the brick-laying., First row of bricks is the trickiest one – it needs to be exact., Construction is about measuring – and measuring again!, Here's the thing: we have absolutely no power tools. Bricks are cut with a hammer and a machete. The thing is that I actually think that this is faster then using machines. , Handywork! Đani's old hammer has been around since 1987., Cleaning the joints between the bricks., This day has been very productive!!!


31 May 2012
Case study: 

Free Tags: capilla, santa ana

We are the sixth day into our trip and it is the second day of actual construction work. It is really hot, the sun is high and we are working at a spot were there is not supposed to be any shade (due to the solar panels that are going to be part of the chapel). The valley of Oaxaca has a specific climate due to the relatively high elevation (around 1.50 above sea level) and the nights are fresh – so are the morning. It is quite a task to get to Zegache as early as 8 o'clock. We are still staying in the ciudad of Oaxaca and the traffic is a mess; to mak thngs worse – the school teachers are regulary bloking of the roads as a part of their protests.

We arrrive half an hour later than planned. The collectivo drops us off at the main square and we start walking down the main street towards the entrance of the pueblo. While approaching we se Chiquis and Scooby with horse and carriage.

Scooby and Chiquis have been transporting fine sand (arena) that we need for our construction. Later on, me and Scooby are fetching the coarse sand (graba) from a construction site narby (don Paola from the taller is building a new house).

The Presidente said that we had a concrete mixer at our disposal. When I mentioned this to Chiquis it was clear that the pueblans do not want to bother the authorities with unnecessary requests. Just tell us the proportions! All the concrete and paster for this construction were to be mixed on the ground with shovels. The concrete mixer was never fetched.

First step is to make the fundament for the chapel. The frame is made out of concrete blocks held together with a wooden frame. The boys are steadily delivering concrete and we are fetching big stones to put and fill the fundament with solid material.

Yup, we really got somewhere today!, Scooby is finishing of today's wok flashing the cuchara., We have a fundament and we have a base – tomorrow we will do some more filling!, Scooby and Chiquis have been transporting fine sand (arena), All the concrete and paster for this construction were to be mixed on the ground with shovels. , First step is to make the fundament for the chapel., The rebar is knitted together with a special tool – a hook. Hand-made, of course – hecho en Zegache., The first concrete base is ready and Đani writes the date in the wet concrete. This doesn't seem to be the custom here, since both Chiquis and Scooby are giggling delightedly at this., The pirate-look comes from the fact that we really need to shield our heads from the sun. After lunch as the first sheet of conrete has fixated (it dries very fat in this heat), it is time to start with some brick-laying., Chiquis in a hoodie. Thick clothing shields against heat as well as cold., This is is quite a common sight at a construction site: several grown men looking at one guy doing the actual work.


30 May 2012
Case study: 

Free Tags: capilla, santa ana

The sindaco (who is the local politician in charge of land and property rights) arrives to the site (with his personal police escort). We go through the details of the new plan.
Just as we were ready to start digging, we get a call from el Presidente. There is problem with terrain on the sunny side of the road – they want an unreasonable amount of money for the 1.5 m² of land that is needed for the chapel. Presi cannot really comply with these demands and he needs more time for negotiations – time that we don't have.

Đani jokingly remarks: ”but what, aren't they Christian folks?”. The present (Chiquis, Georgina) shake their heads in dismay: ”no, they are one of the two Protestant families in the pueblo” Eh? I wanted to start blabbering about the ecumenical aspects which are in fashion in Europe but I quickly realized that concept doesn't have any bearing in Mexico.

So, we need to build the first chapel on the shaded side of the shaded side of the road. Presi is just saying ”take down a tree... or two - no problem! I will send the police to do it!” It is just a relatively young Jacaranda-tree, so we're starting to contemplate it, but this is when Georgina goes enviromental and tells Presi that in Sweden where I live it is forbidden to take down trees (not !!!).

It is quite a conundrum. We cannot really fit a chapel and then an arch (later project) without putting the thing in complete shade from one of the many trees. 

Finally we find a solution, we change the direction of the chapel so it faces the street. By doing this we can fit both chapels and the arch in one line.

Presi is just saying ”take down a tree... or two - no problem! I will send the police to do it!”, Đani jokingly remarks: ”but what, aren't they Christian folks?”. (The spot for the next chapel), We find a solution, we change the direction of the chapel!, The goats passing (and Georgina's car  - heavily promoting the socialdemocrat candidate in the presidential election)., The land and property issues are sorted out and we are ready to dig out the fundament., The sun is scorching and we need to learn from the locals to cover ourselves from the sun!, The first day of  construction work – not more then 5 days iafter arrival!


28 May 2012
Case study: 

Free Tags: capilla, santa ana

The stone-manufacturer is close to Christian's glass studio Xaquixe.

We need red bricks and stone (the typical combination of Oaxaca). The query and the places where they sell stone are at the other side of Oaxaca (opposite from Zegache), namely Etla. This is also where Christian has his studio. Chiquis comes into Oaxaca and we get picked up by Christian.

Once we have ordered the sotne, we go back to Oaxaca together with Chiquis. We gett a ride with a collectivo taxi-van where the driver shuts the door with a rope. We need to go to Santa Lucia Tule, in the direction Zegache – where we can find the red bricks.

We order 500 red bricks. They cost 3 pesos each and it is total of 1500 pesos. They will be delivered to Santa Ana Zegache by tomorrow. The brick-manufacturer gets an advance of 200 pesos and Chiquis gets 1300 to give them once they arrives.


Đani chose between green, pink and yellow cantera (tyoaxacan limestone) with his hammer and chisel. We go for the green cantera, The stone saw, The stone-manufacturer is calculating the total cost of our order: 1150 pesos, And bricks (ladrillos) we find. These bricks are manufactured here and they are beautifully irregular – sort of handcrafted!, We order 500 red bricks


27 May 2012
Case study: 

Free Tags: capilla, santa ana

The Presidente of Santa Ana Zegache and a Croatian stone-mason.
Georgina picked us up and took us to Zegache in her car. We had a meeting with the Presidente (Presi as Geo calls him) and they were enthusiastic as allways. Immediately we went down to the site.


On one side of the road there are trees – there might be a need to tke down one of them so that the solar panels would not be shaded. We were not willing to do that at this point (although ”Presi” says that he will send some guys and they will just cut it) – not for only one chapel, for 2 maybe, but not for one.

We opted for the other side of the street.

”Presi” is making decisive gestures – laying out the land., I just wanted to get started, We have some potential builder friends right net to us., As my cousin allways used to say: Chiquis always delivers, BUILDING A CHAPEL - DAY 3, We need to fit in 2 chapels and an arch (Presi wants it to be 2 meters (!) thick), Calculating the material we need to buy (according to the dimensions of Mexican bricks and blocks), Another look at the terrain and staking out the fundament with a machete., Chiquis is keeping us company while waiting for the collectivo.


27 May 2012
Case study: 

Free Tags: capilla, santa ana

The taller (workshop) was closed and we did not meet anyone except some old ladies coming out from church.


The night before we had a excellent dinner in Oaxaca with our good friends Georgina and Christian. So nice to meet them again! We aggreed to go to Zegache on Monday together with Georgina. But my cousin Đani was eager to go there already on Sunday. He wanted to gain one day – we had so much work in front of us! We walked down to Central and took a collectivo out to the pueblo.
The taller (workshop) was closed and we did not meet anyone except some old ladies coming out from church.
We went back to Oaxaca with another collectivo and visited the cultural centre San Pablo – an exquisite site, 16th century convent tastefully modernized.This is also where we saw more traditional samles of bricks and stone-combination – specific to Oaxaca.
The Holy ghost came down upon us  right there in front of the church. , Đani was threading the ground where the chapel might be built. Measuring, pondering.


26 May 2012
Case study: 

Free Tags: capilla, santa ana

Teacher's strike
From Stockholm to Brussel and then to Venice, where I picked up my cousin Đani Brečević. The night was spent in Mestre and then the flights from Venice to Amsterdam, to Mexico City and finally Oaxaca. The appartment was waiting for us. So was a couple of mezcals downtown at Café Central.

First day in Oaxaca featured massive teachers' strike. They had sealed off the entire historical centre of the city with their tents and it was quite hard to pass by.

The first planing meeting was held at the appartment. We decided to use a combination of bricks and stones in the construction of the capilla.This is quite common in urban Oaxaca and such an example was staring at us from the back: the outside of the window to our toilet!

the outside of the window to our toilet!, Dimensions were checked and adjusted. The only deviation from Patrik Quist's drawings was to make the cupola round not eliptic.


17 Jun 2012
Case study: 

Free Tags: capilla, santa ana

The Kinetic Chapel #2 - Anta Ana
To build this chapel had to be very much like in the classical age when the architects, the masons , the carpenters, the technicians and many others worked together on the construction of a classy movie theater – we are here to create a space with style and panache, a site of marvel and excitement that will host a new art form: cinema! We are in fact the Lumière-cousins bringing motion pictures to the world of chapels, the Fitzcaraldos of rural Oaxaca that will take on a task worthy the endevours of Titans: to make the second Kinetic Chapel of Performing Pictures in Santa Ana Zegache, Oaxaca, Mexico!


The Kinetic Chapel unleashes the intrinsic motion of sacred images within the context of an outdoor-exhibition space. The capillita (small chapels) are constructed to shelter popular image devotion. As mini-galleries for mixed-media imagery, they do not rely on the curatorial system of the established art world.

The kinetic chapel introduces transformative movement into an established container that otherwise features motionless imagery. While doing our research in Oaxaca, Mexico, we have found examples of electrical illumination within some of the capillitas. We found this both inspiring in its inventiveness as well as encouraging for the continuation of our own work with chapels featuring anmations.

As there are no other ways to display moving images but with electricity, we employ the sun to give us the sufficient energy for the kinetic chapel. Following this occupation with venerative artefacts, renewable energy has become an increasingly important issue for Performing Pictures' work. Venerative objects should generate energy, not consume it!

This is the report by Robert Brečević of how the Kinetic Chapel of Santa Ana Zegache was built.

Presentation and research at the Kizhi Museum

19 Jun 2012 - 22 Jun 2012

Free Tags: chapel, church, cultural heritage, kizhi, pilgrimage, russia, veneration

kizhi euroaxaca performing pictures
EITC project coordinator Geska presented Performing Pictures' work with venerative artifacts at the XVI Annual International Scientific-Practical Conference ADIT-2012 “Cultural Heritage and Information Technologies” in The Republic of Karelia.

The annual conference has been held since 1997 and is one of the key All-Russian activities on promotion of information technologies among museums and other cultural institutions that facilitates the development of museums and exchange of regional experience. The conference was organized by the Kizhi State Open Air Museum, which arranged a day long visit to the museum, which started functioning on the island of Kizhi in 1951 and currently contains about 87 wooden constructions.

The most famous of them is the Kizhi Pogost, which contains two churches and a bell-tower surrounded by a fence. Since 1951, a large number of historical buildings were moved to the island. They include the Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus from Murom Monastery, which is regarded as the oldest remaining wooden church in Russia (second half of 14 century), several bell-towers, more than 20 peasant houses, mills, barns and saunas.

There are about 1000 icons of 16–19 centuries which includes the only in Russia collection of "heavens". There are also church items, such as crosses early manuscript of 17–19 centuries.

Image: The Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus

Tradition says that the church was built by the monk Lazarus in the second half of the 14th century. The church became the first building of the future Murom Monastery located on the eastern shore of Lake Onega. Over time, the church became the main attraction of the monastery as it was reputed to miraculously cure illnesses. The clergy announced the monk Lazarus as a local saint, and every summer, on 23–24 June, the church was attracting pilgrims. The building is 3 meters tall and has a perimeter of 9×3 m. The original two-tier iconostasis of the church is preserved; it consists of 17 icons of 16–18th centuries.


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