UBUNTU 

2008 - 2009


Mural: 3.75 mt. of height x 6.30 mt. of width, composed by 270 "Contact-Graphies" of 25 cm. x 35 cm. each.


Dedicated to all of US here and now. 


The print of a shoe engraved on the pavement was the origin of UBUNTU.  Following its track and having the print up scaled I met a group of construction workers nearby and learned why some of them “sign” their work with a print over fresh cement once the job is done.  There are literally thousands of these signatures all over our city.

UBUNTU!   

I conducted an investigation focused on finding the man who had left this specific print.  Simultaneously, I worked on creating a different technique so I could transfer this track (this gesture) from its place of origin, and show others, as we artists do... 

This investigation brought me closer to those beings who leave their “mark” when building our city.  A large number of these individuals leave this anonymous signatureonce they have completed their work.  The element they use to engrave their signature is the sole of their working boots, all of which share the same characteristics.  This is a beautiful example of a selfless act, an unadulterated demonstration of human kindness, no egoIt becomes their way of saying “I was here, as a part of a human team”.  An extraordinary manifest of their presence and craft in a place which makes these men a unit.  I fell in love with construction workers.  I started observing their everyday routines, visiting a great deal of construction sites spread around my city.      

This temporary living brings spaces to life, but their work could be understood as a metaphor of ourselves and the way we choose to relate amongst us, ourselves in our daily life. 

We depend on each other, just as I perceived it when visiting the construction sites.  If for any reason one worker does not fulfill the expectations of his job, a careless mistake or a lack of commitment, the objective is destroyed.  In the other hand, if all these men work as team, the mission set reaches its objective in perfect form.  Observing the craft and dedication of these men my fascination for what we as humans represent and what we could become grew.

We are one… united by a subtle energy, a delicate lace that binds us but which is not perceived due to our constant rush.  We are indifferent to it.  That’s how our busy lives spin.  If only we would stop for a second and really observe…

UBUNTU celebrates the presence and the present of coexisting, life, humanity and being humane.  But above all it celebrates the notion that We depend on each Other.  



About the title of my work:

An infinity of possible titles were shuffled in my mind for the longest time.  Some of these titles are now chapters of my book.  Nonetheless, digging deep into some notes I had taken years ago I was lucky to come across this magnificent word that I had heard in some movie in the past.  This word became a wake up scream that shook me out of my own indifference.

UBUNTU!

Ubuntu is an Nguni Bantu (Zulu and Xhosa) term translating to "human kindness." It is an idea from the Southern African region which means literally "human-ness," and is often translated as "humanity toward others," but used in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".

And according to archbishop Desmond Tutu’s words (South African clergy and renowned pacifist who acquired international fame during the 1980’s for his opposition to Apartheid policies): "A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as if they were less than who they are."


 




Tati Ossa