Catholic festivals are often on the extravagant side, but the annual procession in honor of Saint Sebastian, captured by artist Pauline Curnier Jardin in a place she keeps a secret, is at the extreme end of the spectrum. When the statue of the saint is carried out of the church, the crowd bursts into song, fireworks erupt and confetti cannons color the sky red, yellow and green. Strong men hold up naked babies to Saint Sebastian, clad in his loincloth. The babies wear strings of banknotes around their necks as an offering to the saint. Jardin became fascinated by the pagan and unusual mood of this event. Over several years, she filmed with a simple super 8 camera, and the digital enlargement and low angle create a dreamlike, almost trancelike atmosphere. A specially composed drum solo combines with ambient sound. The result is a condensed yet magnified account of a ritual in which a boisterous present connects with ancient belief.
Pauline Curnier Jardin
Christine Moldrickx, Pauline Curnier Jardin
Julien Hogert, Pauline Curnier Jardin