my dear friend schneider carpeggiani went to the berlin on february, to write an article about it, to a brazilian magazine named continente. he wanted to write about the clichés surrounding the city and picked pankow as the appropriate neighbourhood to be shown in the article – no tourists seem to go there, but he had also other reasons, way too neurotic to be quoted!
schneider wrote a realismo mágico-kind of article, about the city itself, but also about his emotional impressions of it – and impressions, as we all know, are always doubtful…
he invited me to go to berlin and take some pictures of the city – and i suggested him, we should go until ruhleben, the other end from u2’s line. and so we did. he also used some archive photos.
the article and the pictures can be seen on this month’s issue of the magazine. some shitty scans below:
i wanna talk about one issue i have been confronting myself with a lot: what makes a photo a photo.
i knooow it is a ridiculous question. it was motivated by looking at my recent negatives, paying attention on that first frame, which we never make consciously (you know the process: after loading the camera you press the button 3 times, so you won’t click on already exposed film). the labs where i took my negatives to be developed and scanned, never scanned it. and the images are simply beautiful. why don’t they consider these images?! why did I never consider them? aren’t they photos?
and then i was brought to questions of authorship: are these beautiful images mine? i didn’t take them, i was not looking at the viewfinder, i didn’t measure the light, i did nothing.
still, i am in love with them.
on authorship, i have something else to say: the great russian writer gogol had his themes suggested by puchkin. and it doesn’t mean at all gogol’s novels and short stories weren’t great. he mastered his craft. he was inspired and pushed by puchkin’s (haha) suggestions and created out of it. what makes me unquiet on these images is, therefore, the fact that they are result of chance – they are not my creation, as gogol’s novels were his’.
and there are more elements against me: the image owner is not the one who presses the button and our beloved cindy sherman is here to prove. but for loving my pictures made by chance, i just name myself a lucky author.
i will keep searching and scanning them.
the brazilian version of vice magazine published some pictures of my grandmother’s series, along with a text by matheus chiaratti, in which he describes the images as “schizophrenic” (i really liked this perception!).
click here to see the review (only in portuguese) and here to see the image gallery.
still life means photographing un-living things, focused on form but also in materiality and meaning.
this is the positive result from my exercise. i photographed the flowers armin gave me while in cologne. since they look so sweet and – for me – so meaningful, i tried to un-sweeten them. werner said i photographed them “unfriendly”. that was because i was hating them for dying.
and this is the wrong result. according to werner, for having no obvious materiality and meaning, for being actually nothing, my desmounted wardrobe pictures could be described as an exercise on light and form, but not exactly as still life:
i had many questions in mind about the meaning of being a good photographer. about the meaning of having “a good eye”.
so i invited my talented friend breno rotatori for a little exercise: we should go to an unspectacular place, trying to find unspectacular things worth photographing. but i would only photograph, after him, what he would. what and how do different people see the same things? i’m into romance, he’s into cinema. i’m analog, he’s digital. i’m a woman, he’s a young man. we’re both into russian literature. my name is russian, he’s italian. he wears glasses. i have blurred glasses in front of me.
i would never see what he saw, but he photographed these things and so did i.
i am still full of questions.
i have never seen those things and they are just extraordinary.
(…) The snow drifts low
and yet neglects to cover me, and I
dance just ahead to keep my heart in sight.
How like a queen, to seek with jealous eye
the face that flees you, hidden city, white
swan. There’s no art to free me, blinded so.
A City Winter, by Frank O’Hara, 1951
one picture from the series 100men was selected for the 4th edition of der greif magazine. the release party was held last friday, in munich, and i received one copy the same day. on the portrait, the amazing ricardo domeneck, photographed last summer, in berlin.