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El Laberinto Sentimental
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A Passage through India

Dr. med. Ursula Davatz, Washington, D.C., USA

Da Vaz pursues archeology in the sense
that he reconstructs places in his memory by
drawing without any intention.

Marie-Theres Stauffer
Life moves in a subtle corkscrew pattern
with a kind of axis of orientationrunning
through space

Da Vaz

A Passage through India is the sub-title of the film «The Other Eye», which Da Vaz made in Bombay in 1997.

Da Vaz's works, as mentioned many times in previous texts, are not representations of the outer appearance, but of inner structural phenomena, of an inner reality. They are representations of what takes place on the stage of life.

India is the world's largest stage of sensual experience. Its vision of colour and gorgeous splendour, the complexity of its multi-faceted human individuality; the inconceivable wealth of diversity in the makeup of its people forming a colossal entity; all this diversity in harmony as well as the intensity of its fragrances above, throughout and in everything: all these impressions set an overwhelming emotional experience in motion.

This inner emotional turbulence, hardly transcribable into words or terms, which can only be alluded to and intuitively guessed, is expressed in the pictures of this chapter. The special technique of the photographic representation turns the artist's drawings into a multi-dimensional emotional experience, which expresses the wondrous poetry of the soul drifting by in a smell, a taste, the intimation of a feeling or a certain mood.

The garbage heap (p. 330) recorded in the film in the city of Bombay, with the artist standing in front, contemplative, suddenly turns into a surface shot of a Da Vaz drawing (p. 331). What seems to the observer to be waiting for its final disposal in various containers suddenly turns out to be a surprise of structural opulence, a structured tonality as conveyed to us by music. It is as if he is extracting from things transient the excess in the waste, thus providing the necessary gamut of devices from which unforgettable epics, songs and stories are created.

In the «matter» Da Vaz «sees» all of a sudden no interior or exterior exists any more. Before his mind materiality disolves and destructures its state. A glance at «Philomena's House» (p. 320) reveals: the transformation of matter cannot be arrested. The exterior progression of daily life, circumstances, which Da Vaz enters, assume on account of his presence the form of an inner structural transformation (p.323), granting the observer unexpected access to the material world. From this he reconstructs a new reality of mood, embodied in blurred, escaping structural images. Viewed in conceptual, logical terms, this is indeed a visually portrayed «fuzzy logic», which we can call emotional logic.

This phenomenological truth is fugitive. It comes and fades away, constantly emerging in a different form. The transitions are blurred, the contours indistinct, not rationally discriminable, being indefinable, and precisely this induces the feeling of weightlessness, of emotionlessness, about which Da Vaz says: «My feelings are in the highest state of velocity when they are without emotion, like the sail in the wind».

In the last chapter of the «Wunderblock» Da Vaz has masterfully captured and visually represented together with the photos by Bjarne Geiges the labyrinth of the human psyche.