01.08.2005

Strange people in strange places







Another month of photography has passed. Well. Another month has passed. Things have happened. I observed and documented and reflected by taking some shots challenging the reality created in exactly that moment. I went to the Cocoliche opening with my little party cam, the Yashica T5, and Emilio of course. We arrived way too early, so we walked to Patyís to warm ourselves up with hamburguesas and cerveza to storm the party at a more appropriate time. I loved the party from minute. The people around us were beautiful but so painstakingly self conscious I instantly felt comfortable because I am so happy I am me in moments like this. And Emilio! You donít have to be rich to be my boy, you donīt have to be cool to rule my worldÖ He was the best friend I could imagine for this night, for every night. My soulmate. We were loving every minute on the dancefloor where we would decamp from minute one, the music flowing right through us. While jumping around with some other die hard fellas and scrambling from one lovely decorated floor to another I captured some shoulders and other body parts of anonymous party members who flashed into my consciousness because they captured my attention. Many things caught my eye. In a corner where the elevator used to be is this installation, a miniature dancefloor on top of a record player, completely decked out with flashing strobes and music. There were lit Bambi paintings in the staircase, a neon-coloured chandelier and some light installations that paint up strange spheres like right out of Matrix on the walls above the bar, and there are light bulbs with burning roses in them in the new lounge upstairs. When I went to the VIP with Emilio, a girl stormed over to me: ďRominaÖ You are Romina Cohn, right?Ē Funnily enough, Emilio was dubbed Carlos Alfonsin at the subsequent party weekend so we are walking around now pretending weíre this celebrity DJ couple Ė Romina and Carlos are some of the best known DJs here. No, joking. Actually, we are just walking around and the people keep on asking us if weíre brother and sister which is funny and freaky at the same time. Incestuous love. Mmmh.

Well, back to Cocoliche and the picture thing. The thirteen pictures I liked the best I scanned in and here they are now, entertain them. Next in this monthís selection are eight pics I entered a competition with. Sponsored by a big beer company that is cooperating with one of the biggest creative agencies here, Faena. Obviously they are scouting heads cos the competition is designed to skim off some local talent to use for their purposes. But I guess itís a win-win situation, everyone profits in a way Ė it unearths some creative movements if beer companies act like patrons. Shame government funded things never end up attracting with the same glam, money and drive behind it as multi national corporations. However, I like Buenos Aires as there exist a lot of creative competitions. If you want to break through somehow, it might be a good place to start. I donít know why I felt tempted to hand in some of my photography, probably because I am proud of my work looking for some authority to acknowledge my skills. Thinking about this now shows me itís actually not so important for me at all as I get so many positive reactions from friends and the people around me in general. Itís like a loving energy fuelling the motor of my own persistent search which will continue as long as I can hold a camera as this is fascinating my whole entire being with unproceeded intensity. I feel like the more I search, the more I learn. And the more I learn, the closer I get to what will be. I create.

Okay. So last week, I created something for this competition called ďInspireĒ. I was allowed to enter eight pictures maximum. Whilst the minimum was five and I could come up with five class pics from scratch, it was clear to me it would have to be a straight number so I would be able to work with pairs of pics that harmonise, contrast, attract, whatever. This task amounted to a heavy search. I was running through all my pictures, but there were no three or even four pairs that would tell a coherent story. I changed the concept all the time as nothing was stringent and the pictures, overall, didnít flow and they didnít want to tell a story either. I ended up reverting to my original idea by simply choosing the ones that made me react to the most. It was like playing Tarot when there are always the same cards coming up as if they are trying to tell you something. I donít know if other people will have strong reactions when looking at them because the story they tell is in my head only and this does not necessarily correspond to the stuff depicted in the pictures themselves. These eight pictures I eventually chose felt like they were symbolic for something: Although visually very pleasing because, they actually reveal very little. Maybe itís that aura of mystery that made me chose them. Who are these people? What do they do? Why are they there? Where are they? I got seven of those pics together, one of them being just a blurry something that sparked off my imagination as I myself could not make out what was there to see. I believe I took it in this really old fashioned Western saloon style corner shop when I was buying wine with Cecilia and secretly tried to take a shot because the shop was like from another dimension. Just before I burned everything on a disk, I peeped at my wall, and there it was.

Number Eight. This reflection shot from the harbour in Duisburg which I took when we made an excursion into the nothingness of German industria. Itís old but this folder up chair in the puddle fires up the neurons in the brain cos itís so difficult to make out what it actually is. And the colours are just out of this world. I could not help but hand it in. I bet they will use the idea for the next beer advert and I will not even be invited to the prize awards. Ahahaha. But because the work is old, I am not too fussed. I have moved on. Back to the other pics. They were all taken here in BsAs and in my opinion, they are united by a sense of disorientation and anonymity. It seems to be a reoccurring theme in my pics, maybe because scenes like this jump at me when I roam the city trying to find my way around taking notice of my surroundings. Snippets. Snippet lives. Snippet people. Mmmh. I donít even like the word snippet. Streaks of consciousness. Sounds better. Streaks striking me and then diving back into the stream of impressions floating past. But back to my original dilemma of tyring to tell a story with my pictures. Itís a lot harder than I thought and I am having great difficulties to create a series of pictures which were taken in different situations under different circumstances. Despite me having a few good ideas, the presentation in digital from which I have to resort to does not satisfy me. This is another reason why I resort to the original idea to take the pics that move me the most containing strange people, strange places or strange people in strange places. I burn the stuff on CD, and when I take a taxi to Puerto Madeira to hand in the stuff as itís the last day before the competition closes and I have another photo shooting with Cecilia, the singer girl in forty minutes and I donít want to be late. The driver and I dive chat away and then this bee flies straight into his face and he crashes the taxi into the bumper of the car in front of us. If this isnít a great sign then I donít know! I am smiling. I am happy. I feel very light headed. I didnít exactly sleep much because I was working on the pics all night. But I, as a matter of fact, have a great feeling of having accomplished something when I walk over to San Telmo to meet up with Cecilia and her friend Roxana who lived in Germany for a year! Whow! Her German is flawless. I am prepared. I have this supersensitive colour negative film and a nice sensitive black and white film for low light conditions so I can work under the worst circumstances. The sun is burning down. Haha! What is it that I am always having the wrong materials in the right moments? Never mind. The pics turned out great. Really. Which is down to the fact we had such a good time. They will be part of the next cycle of pics which I will scan so hold on tight. And donít forget to come back and read on to learn more about how some of the pictures came about.





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