Me and Mr. Strand.


In the book “Understanding a photograph” by John Berger (organization and introduction by Geoff Dyer and translation by Paulo Geiger) (Cia das Letras. São Paulo. 2017) (an authentic treatise on photography made known by master Juan Esteves, São Paulo) I read and reread it a few times (good things have to be tasted homeopathically) the ‘reading’ of the photo on the left of 1944 (made three years before this writter was born) by Paul Strand in Vermont, New England-USA, and the that you can read there with all the letters impresses me, touches me a lot.

Berger says of Strand’s work: “His best photographs are unusually dense – not in the sense of being overloaded or obscure, but in the sense that they are filled with an unusual amount of substance per square centimeter. And all this substance becomes the essence of the object’s life. Take the famous portrait of Mr. Bennet. His jacket, his shirt, his beard on his chin, the wood of the house behind him, the air around him become, in this image, the very face of his life, of which his facial expression is the concentrated spirit”.

Left: Mr. Bennett (Vermont, New England-USA) (1944) by Paul Strand.

Right: Onion harvester (Casa Branca, SP-Brasil) (2019) Antonio Mozeto.

The photo on the right that I took in 2019 of an onion harvester in Casa Branca (SP-Brazil) has a much more explicit surface given that the worker is in his own working environment. And, without due permission, but with due boldness, ‘reading’ my photo, I make Berger’s words about the current Paul Strand photo mine: all the substance of the photo is in the expressive look of the worker, in a marked face due to the hardships of hard work and the properties of his surroundings: the harsh and striking light of the day in full sun, the onion harvesting bucket, the onion sacks lined up behind him, two companions of toil and the bus that brings him a lot early for the harvest and takes you home at the end of another day of this person’s hard daily workday.

As Berger rightly said (operate citato) “in the relationship between photography and words, the first yearns for an interpretation, and words usually supply it. The photograph, irrefutable as evidence, but weak in meaning, gains meaning from words”.

{roadside_memorials}

These little chapels are a milestone in many countries and in the case of Brazil it is no different.

Here in Brazil I believe it is a tradition passed by Portuguese colonization.

Whenever I find them on my many trips, most of the time on back roads (I don’t like highways) I stop and photograph.

note: the featured image is of a niece, Esvânia Elisa Pilhalarme (Borborema, SP-Brazil)

[four_gasoline_stations]

[new topographies from the interior of the state of são paulo-brasil]

note1: I have photographed in small towns in the interior of the state of São Paulo, Brazil, deactivated, abandoned gas stations, some of them, in ruins, where one does not see a ‘living soul’ as I said, the other day, by a spirited one (in the look) friend. Perhaps you may see the spirit of the old owners, their good and faithful customers wandering around…..LOL…

note2: I like gas stations; I like the smell of gasoline. In small towns in Brazil, the connection between people and gas stations is something important which is, to me, something difficult to explain. Many of them, in these small towns, help to tell the story of these places.

“Photography is memory and is confused with it” (Boris Kossoy).

{like a tattoo}

{like a tattoo} – [I was born: I grew up: I raised children and grandchildren: I lived and live in a place where time is another time; another dimension; a time that is more peaceful, like the dairy cows that lie down motionless and sleepy in the pasture at night: they stay there, quietly and slowly ruminating all night; on nights of pitch-dark darkness it is only known that they are there through the feeling of their warmth, their smell; through the little noise their teeths make when they chew; nor do their usual mooing be heard; my feelings do not fit the description in words; I am not good with words; I like them but I don’t even know if they exist to describe it in a way that the other feels them as they really are; I am only good with the feeling of feelings; those who have already felt them, those who have already lived them have stuck them deep in their skin: like a stain: like a sticky sap of a jackfruit tree: like a tattoo: they leave with us when we go to another world]

Paths and crossings

In the middle of the path there was a stone

there was a stone in the middle of the path

had a stone

in the middle of the path there was a stone.

I will never forget this event

in the life of my retinas so tired.

I’ll never forget that in the middle of the road

had a stone

there was a stone in the middle of the path

in the middle of the path there was a stone.

[in the middle of the path – poem by carlos drummond de andrade]

The different paths we take in life can bring us pleasant memories or make us remember how many stones we find in the middle of our lives. This beautiful poem by Carlos Drummond de Andrade has exactly this meaning that, alluding to my photo of a path in a sugar cane plantation in the interior of the state of São Paulo-Brazil, brings to mind the hard path that rural workers in their daily hard work travel every day. A path full of stones, not easy to be walked. Only the strong make these crossings.

THE MEMORY OF THE PATHWAYS AND THE PATHWAYS OF MEMORY.

The paths have many memories and the memory has many paths.
I think this is true because I have many good memories of the paths that I have gone through in my life and my memory goes through several paths. My memories of these places, people and objects that were part of my imagination, of my past follow different paths. These memories are dear to me for several reasons or ways.
As Boris Kossoy has already written (IN: Realities and fictions in the photographic plot. Editorial Studio. 4th edition. São Paulo. 2009 – in Portuguese): “photography is memory and is confused with it”.

Pandemic treatment: phototherapy

Phototherapy – I am not talking about any health treatment against any desease here. Those treatments that consist of the use of special lights widely used in newborns who are born with jaundice (yellowish tone on the skin), but which can also be useful to combat wrinkles and spots on the skin, in addition to diseases such as psoriasis, vitiligo eczema, for example. example. They use some type of special light, such as the LED that stimulates or inhibits cellular activity.

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[vernacular landscapes]: [new topographics from the interior of the state of são paulo-brazil]

According to the writer and curator LUISA DUARTE (Rio Branco, Miguel – Crossword puzzles, dreamed, stolen, used, bled. São Paulo. IMS. 2020) and, according to the benjaminian conception (Walter Benjamin – essayist, literary critic, German Jewish translator, philosopher and sociologist; 1892-1940) on the temporality of works of art “a work of art does not have to be understood in time, but time in the work” because they contain an intensive and not extensive temporality.

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A vernacular elegy to the countryside

“The landscape is not, in essence, made to look at, but the insertion of man in the world, the place of a struggle for life, a manifestation of his being with others, the basis of his social being”. (Dardel, E., 2011. Man and the earth: nature and geographical reality. Translation Werther Holzer. São Paulo, SP. Perspective.)

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