Wednesday, 25 July 2007
Decido entonces, a la mañana siguiente, deambular entre el silencio de las siete y media en San Sebastián, donde solo unos cuantos ciudadanos se deslizan entre las sombras que proyectan las columnas. Al doblar una esquina me encuentro de buenas a primeras con este hombre que recoge los desechos de la noche anterior y sin pensar en la exposición correcta oprimo el disparador.
"Al carajo con la exposición corecta", me repito, mientras veo flotando este barrendero que viene a inscribirse en mi negativo, una mañana del verano de 1988.
Después de haber leído un texto de Carlos Fuentes acerca de Madrid, una noche en Madrid, salí a buscar con denuedo esta imagen...hasta encontrarla. Está ubicado en un extremo de la Plaza Mayor, donde una estatua ecuestre guarda el orden del recinto abierto y donde la luz golpea con un brochazo naranja los balcones en la tarde.
Caminando por esta bella avenida Madrileña me encuentro con una mujer de edad, a quien la vida parece haber abandonado, y quien me trae a la memoria imágenes que creía perdidas para siempre en mis vericuetos subconscientes que involucran los años cincuentas...Ella mira el entorno con un aire de quien no pertenece y está sentada justo enfrente del monumento desde donde Velázquez hecho bronce parece dirigir el agitado tráfico con leves movimientos de pincel en mitad del vuelo.
Thursday, 19 July 2007
Memo belongs in my personal album since the days in which we were both ten years old. This is not him anymore, this is what he looked like in 1975, when he was all suave, sweet talking his way into all the girl's dormitories, whilst getting his degree in Architecture. Nowadays he is a grandfather, and he is still trying to sweet talk his way, albeit with much, much less success than thirty years ago.
In 1975 I went back to Cali for the first time after two years in Toronto, in the company of Margaret Thurlow, who was teaching me photography at the time.
The very next day while walking in the downtown area, trying to get my memories in place, I ran into one of my dearest friends on planet Earth, the writer Hernán Toro. We had one of the street photographers in Puente Ortiz take a picture of us in the company of Margaret. Hernán still lives in Cali where he teaches literature at Universidad del Valle.
The photographers in the bridge and the adjacent park disappeared many years ago.
This image of a long gone time shows my father and sister, and myself, during the forgotten year of 1969.
It was after high school and there was nothing else to do, except to get a passport.
But before that could happen I had to secure the obligatory military certificate, hence this picture, taken by an ambulatory photographer, such as I myself would become a few years later.
My mother used to bring me delicious home-cooked meals and fruit juices, which were the only respite during days filled with mindless drills and military discipline.
Friday, 6 July 2007
"Sombras nada más" es el título de una famosa canción romántica del Caribe.
Y el Caribe parece estar siempre presente en el espíritu, la arquitectura y la luz fuertísima del Puerto de Cádiz.
Hay en su ambiente mucho de ese aire que se siente y se respira en el Viejo San Juan o tal vez en la Habana y, por supuesto, en Cartagena de Indias.
This trio represents a great chunk of my life. Sahara, when she was a few months old in toronto (1981), and her mother Laura Paull. They are smiling and proud and looking all beautiful the summer that my brother Beto flew in from Colombia to meet my daughter.
Beto, unfortunately is no longer with us, but he still lives in our hearts.
What do you do? Well, just what any self-respecting photographer would do in a case like that. Ask the colleague if it is OK to take her portrait. Which she very graciously obliged.
This young boy was gliding towards the camera as if he was on roller skates. The streets were full of sounds and smoke; full-on afternoon sun and the ever-present tum-tum of drums modulated by trombones and trumpets. There were bongoceros and dope smokers dominating the ambience. Not a single incident, it was all peaceful and full of fun. It was the summer of seventy seven.