works 

The Gardner, 2012

O Jardineiro, 2012

photographs and text on wood frame

16 x 20 in each

digital print on photo paper, text printed on photo paper and framed

14 x 16 in (each)

1/1

Antônio was a lonely man. He lived in Peçanha, a small town in Minas Gerais. He was lame, with one leg shorter than the other. Not much was known about him; only that he liked to take care of the gardens of the residents of Peçanha. He was a poor thing.  He lived in a house inherited from his mother, who had died years ago from an unknown infectious disease. Antônio was known as The Gardener. Every day, before returning home, he stopped at the Bar do Nozinho to eat the special of the day and to drink coca-cola. He liked liver with onions, rice and beans. He had the humility of someone who had lived modestly his entire life. His hair was flecked with grey. He had a dog, whose name was Dragão. He was never seen in the company of a woman. He was a poor thing. Lonely, he had no friends. His social life was visiting the gardens. Nobody ever visited him. Besides cutting grass he collected newspapers. He was said to use them to start the fire in his wood stove.

At one point, two weeks went by, during which The Gardener did not show up at the houses nor eat in the Bar do Nozinho.  Someone decided to look for him at his home. By the door was Dragão. He appeared dehydrated and starving. They entered Antônio’s house. The Gardener was not there. Surely, Antônio didn’t plan to voluntarily disappear. He didn’t take Dragão with him and, on the table, there was found the remains of a meal, as if someone had just recently been eating. In his house, certain objects and pieces of newspaper aroused the suspicions of the local police. For ten years, girls in the area between five to eighteen years old had been disappearing without a trace. The investigators suspected the trafficking of girls for prostitution or illegal adoption were two possibilities. However, they could have been raped and murdered. Or, the older girls could simply have fled with their boyfriends. This suspicion was discarded when it became clear that not all of them had boyfriends.  Piles of newspapers were next to the wood stove, along with pictures children’s toys, clothes, notebooks and other feminine objects in paper bags. Where is Antônio? Who was Antônio? Was the Gardener kidnapped?

Antônio era um homem solitário. Morava em Peçanha, uma cidade do interior de Minas Gerais. Era manco, tinha uma perna menor que a outra. Não se sabia muito sobre ele, somente que ele gostava de cuidar dos jardins dos moradores de Peçanha. Era um pobre homem. Morava na casa herdada de sua mãe que morreu anos atrás de uma doença infecciosa desconhecida. Antônio era conhecido como O Jardineiro.  Todos os dias, antes de retornar para casa, parava no Bar do Nozinho para comer o especial do dia e tomar coca-cola. Gostava de fígado acebolado, arroz e feijão. Tinha a humildade de alguém que viveu modestamente toda a vida. Tinha os cabelos grisalhos e um cachorro chamado Dragão. Nunca foi visto acompanhado por uma mulher. Era um pobre homem. Não tinha amigos. Sua rotina era visitar os jardins. Ninguém nunca o visitou. Além de cortar grama colecionava jornal. Dizia usá-los para fazer fogo no fogão a lenha.


Depois de duas semanas sem comparecer no trabalho e no Bar do Nozinho, decidiuram procurá-lo. Na porta de sua casa encontraram Dragão, desidratavo e faminto. Entraram na casa de Antônio. O Jardineiro não estava lá. Certamente, Antônio não planejou um desaparecimento voluntário. Ele não levou Dragão com ele, e sobre a mesa, havia restos de comida. Na casa, objetos e cortes de artigos de jornais levantaram suspeitas na polícia local. Durante dez anos, meninas naquela área entre 5 e 18 anos haviam desaparecido sem deixarem vestígios. As investigações suspeitavam do tráfico de meninas para prostituição e adoção ilegais. Eram duas possibilidades, embora supeitassem também de estrupo e assassinato.  Ou, poderiam as garotas mais velhas terem simplesmente fugido com seus namorados? A suspeita foi discartada pela polícia assim que os fatos mostraram que nehuma das garotas tinha namorados.  Pilhas de jornais estavam perto do fogão a lenha. Encontraram  fotografias de crianças, brinquedos, roupas, cadernos e outros objetos femininos em sacos de papel pardo. Onde estava Antônio? Quem era o Jardineiro? Seria o Jardineiro um sequestrador?