Monday, 26 September 2011
Another year in my life without my brother Beto. Another September to remember his life, thousands of images passing by with sounds and motion to remind me of my baby brother, his voice -the voice of my father and mine- his witty repartee, his unpredictable temper, his love of books, and above all his love for Latin music, jazz, his affection for all things Boricua, his love for his family.
Now his portrait looks eternally impassive from the wall of my studio, where he lives next to the two extremes of our mother's life in portraits. Both beautiful in memory, both terribly and sadly missed.
Sunday, 18 September 2011
For the past three months I have been photographing the concept of absence represented by a child's chair. It began on June 21st, first day of Summer, and ended on September 21st, beginning of Autumn. It may mean a variety, an infinite probability of things: life, evolution, passage of time and of course death. I would like to think of it as a divertimento played by visuals. The chair means that my own children, little ones, have grown one more season on the way to achieving age and a bit more maturity. It also means that I have spent one less summer with them, hence the sense of impending doom on my part. For my children the chair means support, comfort, change; for me it means a growing sense of absence and the approaching day of my own demise. It is that simple. My own girl, at eight years of age, collaborated in it by taking photographs of her own objects as they themselves seem to fade rapidly in the past. For me it was one more time the photographic factor, in this particular case the same as my girl, passage of time, which is what photography is all about.
Thursday, 15 September 2011
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Friday, 9 September 2011
This project, aleatory in its inception and uncertain of its path ahead, has been going on since the beginning of summer. It will end on September 18th first day of Autumn.
I have never worked with a collaborator until now: my eight year-old daughter Marina is the first. She has been very enthusiastic about it and has produced some of the shots during these past three months. To involve a child in a photographic project, albeit private and perhaps unseen by many represents somewhat of a triumph, at least on a personal level.
Children do not participate of their parents' artistic projects too often. The chair represents growing up and the best time for that rapidly evolving development is the summer time. Freedom makes us grow, away from the restrains of order, school, itineraries and organized learning.
Summer is the season of liberty and joy. And so the children go a little wild and the old men, read parent with camera, trying to record seemingly normal events must make an effort to see their world from a different perspective.
The children will show us the way and so we must at times stand aside and take notice. The chair remains a symbol, a metaphor for the spaces left unused and lonely, when all goes back to what we perceive as normal.
Sunday, 4 September 2011
Essentially one chair is equal to all chairs, hence seen one seen them all. The only change is in the circumstances upon which we had happened to stumble on them, or sit and use them. The difference as well as the similarities between objects and us mortals is the evident marks that time has inflicted on our fragile anatomies, our ever changing countenance and exterior appearance.
So it is with great excitement that I have recently received, from a box of a distant past, the sitting down portrait taken by a friend of mine in Toronto circa 1979, and feel that the man thus represented is not the same as the one holding the little wicker dilapidated job, taken just about a month ago in a different universe.
The men in the two shots are similar in that the younger one did not know and had no way of understanding what the aging process was all about and the old one is still involved in the same conundrum. But right there all similarities end.