Many times in this blog I have stated that what makes us humans is our ability to associate.
My blog is a Bunny Watson one inspired by the Bill Richardson’s CBC Radio program of that name. It was produced by Tod Elvidge and Jennifer Van Evra and it aired beginning the summer of 2004. I began blogging January 2006 and I followed the idea of going back and forth on stuff that did not seem to have anything in common but did in the end.
Bunny Watson - William Richardson & Our Shameful CBC
Tonight as I was resting on my bed with my two cats at my side I kept thinking on the significance of one of the photographs that I took of the León, Guanajuato-born Ivette Hernández. We collaborated on a series based on our mutual nostalgia for Mexico.
The one in my memory and attention now is called El Evangelista. In Spanish that’s evangelist but in Mexican Spanish it is about men (only men) that sit at corners of city centres with a typewriter. They write love letters or whatever other communication those who cannot read or write need.
We slicked back Hernández’s hair and she is wearing a suit I bought at a famous downtown Mexico City department store called El Puerto de Liverpool. My grandmother’s Remington Portable – Model 5 with a Spanish keyboard she bought in the mid-20s in New York City has a letter that was mailed to me by a writer from the LA Times thanking me for having sent him my portrait of Mario Vargas Llosa. The typewriter is sitting on my mother’s Mexican rebozo.
There is one item in the photo that is a personal private joke. Hernández is wearing a Fraser Institute tie (an extremely conservative Vancouver group). I used to wear it to NDP functions and they would always be amused when they noticed it and this they always did.
It was only about the year 2000 that in working in collaboration with Argentine artists Nora Patrich and Juan Manuel Sánchez on the theme of Argentine nostalgia that I figured out that to experience nostalgia you must not be in the place you have nostalgia for. Thus if I were to return to Venice and live there for a while I would want to find a Canadian woman from Vancouver and photograph her under an umbrella.
Whatever it is that makes me associate nostalgia with photographs, it enables me to keep busy and distract myself a tad from my grief for the loss of my Rosemary.
Would it be possible for me to take photographs of my nostalgia for Vancouver while living here?