Cildo Meireles, ‘Southern Cross’ (1969-1970)
Oak and pine cube. Meireles has explained:
Southern Cross was initially conceived as a way of drawing attention, through the issue of scale, to a very important problem, the oversimplification imposed by the proselytising missionaries – essentially the Jesuits – on the cosmogony of the Tupí Indians.
The white culture reduced an indigenous divinity to the god of thunder when in reality their system of belief was a much more complex, poetic and concrete matter, emerging through their mediation of their sacred trees, oak and pine. Through the rubbing together of these two timbers the divinity would manifest its presence.