|Alex & Aunt Inez-1942 Alex 8 October 2021 photograph Ralph Rinke|
Ever since I studied Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in 1962 I have been obsessed by his dialectics. Just about everything that I approach I do so by his thesis-antithesis–synthesis method.
In this age of conflict, people take opposites but never seem to arrive at a Hegelian synthesis. Hegel would be an excellent philosopher to discover right now.
When I was fifty and even when I was sixty I liked to compare my life as standing on a narrow red carpet. Behind me was a long stretch of it that represented my past. I liked to think that I was rolling it up in my direction while simultaneously rolling out carpet in front of me my future.
Now at age 79 I have arrived at a Hegelian re-consideration. This is that I roll back the carpet behind me, as it is that past that I am now exploring so much in my sleepless nights. And, in front of me, there is not much to unroll towards a future that is not going to be a long one.
It is of course a sobering re-consideration.
Today, at 3pm, I met up with two photographers of my generation, Ralph Rinke and Robert Kwong. We had a happy-hour repast at the Sylvia Hotel on a pleasant sunny day.
It was of course very comfortable to compare notes on our
past in photography. I brought some show-and-tell. The main article of interest
why my Jena-made Pentacon-F single-lens-reflex I purchased in 1958. It was my first
serious camera. I sent a one hundred dollar money order from my Austin, Texas,
Roman Catholic boarding school to Olden Cameras (they still exist!) to New
York. A lovely glossy box with the camera appeared at our school PX a few weeks
later. Before Rosemary, our two daughters and I left Mexico City in 1975 to drive our VW to Vancouver had made a considerable amount of money with that camera.
Ralph Rinke, who is of German origin (his parents), was immediately captivated by my still-working camera and insisted on taking my picture with it. I am so glad he did. I have been able to combine his photograph (I really like it) with the first ever photograph taken of me in Buenos Aires in 1942 being held by my Aunt Inez Barber. Because she had divorced Barber (a horror then in Argentina) and remarried Alejandro Ariosa (from Mendoza) she could not be my godmother. She wanted to as she adored my mother Filomena. So, her daughter Inesita (my first cousin) who may have been 19, was my godmother. And in honour of Aunt Inez’s new husband I was given Alejandro as my middle name. I became Alex henceforth.
Thank you Ralph.