Oryza Sativa project

I have kept some pictures from a recent trip to Indonesia and I assembled a video that tells of gods, prayers, demons, men and universes.

The location is a rice field.

The rice I understood as a metaphor of the cosmos, where the multitude of grains could represent the infinity of stars and planets.
This Cosmos / paddy is animated from the air.
The wind is the energy that drives the scarecrow windvanes .

The propeller drives the beating of a stick over a jar drum and the rhythmic sound that it produces chases the birds away from the ripening rice, but at the same time will turn away the demons that may curse the crop.

The windvane will sound and, in its perennial turning, emit a prayer: a dialogue between the machine and the guardian gods of the rice paddy.

For the duration of a few fleeting frames, I wanted to highlight the holy trinity of Shiva, the universal spirit of Hinduism: hence the propeller has tripled in Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. It is like a brief mystical apparition; its purpose it to define the surreality of the time and space in that setting.

In the wind, which animates the sound and prayer among the rice plants, there are twelve peasants. They are immobile because they live in another time reference; they surround the setting as planets , because they are like deities of that same pantheon which oversees the boundless cosmos / rice paddy.

This short film is a record of a particular trip to a place far from our West. That same machine which can play or pray for the paddy, I have taken back with me. I have chosen for it a sacred space. I placed it in a church which is the only possible sacred setting for us Westerners. I think that, regardless of the differences in the atmosphere, the machine continues to play and pray at our latitudes.

Davide Sebastian

Director: Davide Sebastian
Original sound track: Federico Ferretti – Dj Stile
Editing: Emanuele Sabetta
Location manager: Kadek Adi Sucita
Shooting: Davide Sebastian
Duration: 3’47″
Format: FullHD 1920*1080
© Davide Sebastian 2009