Laurén - A Present Apparition of the PastThursday, May 03, 2018
|Laurén - May 1 2018|
In a recent trip to Mérida with my wife Rosemary we enjoyed what may be one of the safest cities in Mexico and anywhere else. The narcotraficantes seem to have no interest in that capital of the State of Yucatán.
The food, the heat (intense) put me into a tremendous longing for the years I lived in Mexico City in my youth and with my bride Rosemary from 1968 until 1975.
It was some years ago that I discovered (I am slow) that to have nostalgia for a place you have not be in the place you have nostalgia for. So in the early 2000s Argentine artists Nora Patrich, Juan Manuel Sánchez had a show about our nostalgia for Argentina and Buenos Aires.
I was surprised at my nostalgia for a place that I was in (Mérida) until I figured out that my nostalgia was for a past that I had almost repressed.
It all burst when I saw a book Nahui Olin by Adriana Malvido at the Mérida Sanborns. I read it uninterrupted flying back between Mexico City and Vancouver.
I had this terrible longing for reproducing in a contemporary version the photographs that were taken of Nahui Olin by Edward Weston and others.
One of my ideas was to visit my compadre Andrew Taylor and his artist wife Ilse in Guadalajara. Ilse could find us a model that would be appropriate (but difficult if we insisted on Olin’s green eyes) for an artistic session. To imitate in some way Weston’s photographs I would need a hot noon day Mexican sun. That would be the easy part.
But could I do the same her in rainy Vancouver?
I have been to a local restaurant a few times where I have noticed spotted a server who looks Argentine/Mexican. She looked like the ideal subject for experiment.
But it is not easy in this 21st century to go up to a beautiful and young woman and say, “Hi I am a local has been photographer and I think you have an interesting face. I would like to photograph you.” I don’t think that would wash considering my 75 years. I would be seen as a “viejo verde” or “dirty old man”.
Luckily I happened to know the restaurant manager who happens to be Latin American. So I asked him, “Could you intercede for me?” He did.
And so yesterday I photographed Laurén. She knocked on the door and there she was an apparition (in spite of all the metal on her nose) from Mexico in the the 1920s.
What you see are preliminary attempts as we get to know each other better. I am sure that in a second or third session the photographs will approach what I call the spirit of Nahui Olin.
Laurén is not Latin. She was born in Vancouver and moved at an early age to Saskatchewan. As to why she looks like a Latin she does not know but plans to have one of those DNA tests soon.