58. ‘La Piedre Campana’

Argentina
Size: 89 × 16 cm
Stone, wood, silver, leather, string

It was hanging close to the front door of a very old and almost destroyed building. A strange black stone silently hanging there, shining in the remains of this abandoned adobe hut forgotten in the most salty and deserted empty landscape… We were in the high mountains of the Argentine Andes, in the province of Catamarca, that keeps its name since the Inca days, meaning the border fortress of the last frontier. A very old man appeared from nowhere, probably left behind, abandoned as well as everything else there. Thinking of shamanism, I pointed to the black stone and asked him, what is this? He smiled and with a gentle gesture picked a pebble from the ground and hit the hanging stone. The sound transformed the fallen building into an invisible cathedral. ‘This used to be our oratorio [a praying space], and this stone was its doorbell. It’s been a long time since those days. No one comes here anymore. Please take it with you if you like it, and take its eternal winds wherever they can be heard.’

Ricardo Paz