A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Tina en la Azotea
Thursday, February 23, 2017


Tina Modotti - Edward Weston


My on line dictionary of the Spanish language RAE (Real Academia Española) defines an azotea:

azotea
Del ár. hisp. *assuáya, dim. de sáṭḥ, y este del ár. clás. saṭḥ 'terraza'.

1. f. Cubierta más o menos llana de un edificio, dispuesta para distintos fines.

In my native Argentine the roof of a building is simply a techo. In Mexico they opt for that lovely word azotea that comes from the Arabic.

It was around 2001that I discovered (I can be slow) that in order to feel nostalgia you have to be in a place far from that which you have nostalgia for. So in that year my Argentine artists friends Juan Manuel Sánchez and his wife Nora Patrich embarked on a project we called Argentine Nostalgia. With photography, drawing, painting and working with a lovely Argentine woman, Linda Lorenzo we went back to our rosy memories of our former country and city of Buenos Aires.

Tina Modotti - Eward Weston


I also lived in Mexico and in Mexico City for many years. In the early 60s I was living with my mother and grandmother on Avenida Tamaulipas. I did not know then (alas!) that I was two blocks from Calle Yucatán where Edward Weston and his lover, model then but photographer later, Tina Modotti lived on and off from 1923 to 1927.

Edward Weston's Azotea Revisited

To anybody who has lived in Mexico City the image of an azotea is that of a large asbestos/cement water tank up on it and with clothes lines. It was up on the roof of that house that Weston took his many nudes of Tina Modotti.

Ivette Hernández - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward
It was around 2010 that I met in Vancouver Ivette Hernández a woman from León Mexico. We decided to collaborate on a our nostalgia for Mexico. She posed as Nicté-Ha, la Santa Muerte, as Dolores del Río, María Felix, La India María,and Doña Marina.

My faves were my obsession for the idea of a hot roof in Mexico City with the smells of nearby tortillerías. I could imagine Modotti on the roof and Weston with his 4x5.

Our idea to do this was in the middle of a harsh and rainy Vancouver winter. I took some photographs in my studio. I was a bit put off by the tile floor but learned to like the look. Then we went up to the roof to take pictures that would show the surroundings and of a city far from Mexico City.

I look at these photographs and I want to hop on a plane and go to Avenida Tamaulipas. But I know that you cannot return. Weston and Moddotti are long gone as are my mother and grandmother.

For the nostalgia to be rich in my mind I must stay put and travel right here in my now coolish but sunny Vancouver.







     

Previous Posts
The Metamorphosis of Inspiration

Peter Breck - Revisited In Modern Times

Legs - I Married my Mother

Sound Holes

Faded - Recovered - Scanned - Delight

El Absurdo Infinito

Miss D, My Chickering Baby Grand & Fuji FP-100C

Lee Lytton III & Friendly & Warm Ghosts

San Valentín

Forgotten & Then Found



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11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17

6/25/17 - 7/2/17

7/2/17 - 7/9/17

7/9/17 - 7/16/17

7/16/17 - 7/23/17

7/23/17 - 7/30/17

7/30/17 - 8/6/17

8/6/17 - 8/13/17

8/13/17 - 8/20/17

8/20/17 - 8/27/17

8/27/17 - 9/3/17

9/3/17 - 9/10/17

9/10/17 - 9/17/17

9/17/17 - 9/24/17

9/24/17 - 10/1/17

10/1/17 - 10/8/17

10/8/17 - 10/15/17

10/15/17 - 10/22/17

10/22/17 - 10/29/17

10/29/17 - 11/5/17

11/5/17 - 11/12/17

11/12/17 - 11/19/17

11/19/17 - 11/26/17

11/26/17 - 12/3/17

12/3/17 - 12/10/17

12/10/17 - 12/17/17