Emparelhamento palavra-fotografia (Word-photography pairing)

Bikini. Moscow William Klein. 1959.

Inspirado num artigo escrito por Geoff Dyer chamado ‘forma: palavra + fotografia’ e publicado pela revista Zum em maio de 2014 encontrei ressonância para um aspecto de grande relevância para mim na fotografia que é ‘casamento da palavra com a fotografia’ ou da ‘fotografia com a palavra’. Para mim muitas vezes há, aí, um intercâmbio de papéis, i.e., de quem nasceu primeiro, como a história: ‘o ovo ou a galinha?’: ‘a palavra ou a fotografia?’.
Dyer cita alguns livros que historicamente encaixam-se nesta categoria e após ler seu artigo fiquei tentado em comprar um deles e acabei comprando o ‘Looking at photographs’ onde John Szarkowski ‘casa’ 100 fotografias do acervo do Museu de Arte Moderna de Nova York (as mais icônicas em sua perspectiva no ano de 1973, é lógico) com ‘palavras’ sobre tais fotos. Apesar de ter nas mãos o livro menos de 24 horas, já pude perceber verdadeiras joias – tanto ‘joias-palavras’ como ‘joias-fotografias’ – que há no mesmo.
Uma dessas preciosidades é uma foto de William Klein feita em Moscow em 1959 que o livro do Szarkowski não dá o nome (que mancada Szarkowski!), mas eu sei que é ‘bikini’ porque é capa de um Photofile (Thames & Hudson, 2017) do Klein que tenho em minha pequena biblioteca. “Bikini’ foge – no meu modesto conhecimento e entendimento da obra de Klein – da ‘regra’ das (quase totalidade) fotografias desse autor que prima por ‘meter’ dentro do retângulo grande diversidade de elementos de composição. ‘Bikini’ tem 6 camadas ou planos lindamente definidos….e, muitos mistérios…tensões…e, poesia.
Pois é: entre as várias coisas que o Szarkowski fala dessa fotografia leio algo que quero compartilhar:

“It was recognized long ago that so-called good photographic technique did not invariably make the best picture. Sometimes the gritty, graphic simplicity of the badly made photograph had about it an expressive authority that seemed to fit the subject better than the smooth, plastic description of the classical fine print”.

Mandou bem Szarkowski…

Word-photography pairing
Inspired by an article written by Geoff Dyer called ‘form: word + photography’ and published by Zum magazine in May 2014, I found resonance for an aspect of great relevance for me in photography that is ‘marriage of the word with the photograph’ or ‘photography’ with the word’. For me, there is often an exchange of roles, i.e., who was born first, like the story: ‘the egg or the chicken?’: ‘The word or the photo?’.

Dyer cites some books that historically fall into this category and after reading his article I was tempted to buy one and ended up buying the ‘Looking at photographs’ where John Szarkowski ‘houses’ 100 photographs from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York ( the most iconic in his perspective in 1973, of course) with ‘words’ about such photos. Despite having the book in my hands for less than 24 hours, I was able to perceive real jewels – both ‘jewels-words’ and ‘jewels-photographs’ – that are in it.

One of these gems is a photo by William Klein made in Moscow in 1959 that Szarkowski’s book does not give the name (what a mistake Szarkowski!), But I know it’s a bikini because it’s the cover of a Photofile (Thames & Hudson, 2017) from Klein that I have in my small library. “Bikini” escapes – in my modest knowledge and understanding of Klein’s work – from the ‘rule’ of (almost all) photographs by this author who excels in ‘meter’ within the rectangle, a great diversity of elements of composition. ‘Bikini’ has 6 layers or beautifully defined plans …. and, many mysteries … tensions … and, poetry.

Well, among the many things that Szarkowski talks about in this photograph, I read something I want to share:

“It was recognized long ago that so-called good photographic technique did not invariably make the best picture. Sometimes the gritty, graphic simplicity of the badly made photograph had about it an expressive authority that seemed to fit the subject better than the smooth, plastic description of the classical fine print ”.

You did well Szarkowski!!! …

Why I love William Christenberry’s photographic work

I don’t know if you, like me, are fans of photography work by Stephen Shore (born 1947 in New York-USA), an American photographer famous for his photographs – as many critics say – “of objects, everyday scenes or banal, and for pioneering the use of color in artistic photography “. Without a doubt, Stephen Shore’s photographic work is really very good. But (perhaps motivated by my personal identification with the photography theme) – and as there is always a ‘but’ in life – there is in my opinion, another photographer, also American, who is also considered the pioneer of worldwide color photography called William Christenberry (born on 1936 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and died on 2016 in Washington, DC-USA). In my opinion – that coincides with that of a large number of critics – Christenberry is as well a great master in color photography.(texto em português ao final) Read More

The power of photography: time, ephemerality and memory

Oh !, time … time, that damn-blessed inexorable variable … inevitable, unshakable, inflexible, relentless, unspeakable variable … the time that denies everything and erases everything … the time that yellow the love letter leaf kept so long in a drawer … forgotten there, but not from time, to time … time that wears out love … time that soothes passions and brings loneliness … time for a utopian world … and, at the same time, a dystopian world … time that everything weathered and destroyed the beauty and perfection of the beautiful … that appeased, that ended wars … that ended everything, from manias to epidemics and pandemics, that calmed the gusts … that the flower withers, rots the fruit and soothes the pain … which creates unrest and brings fear … Read More


Photographic art has in its product, photographs, the inherent characteristic of two-dimensionality. But, ‘the play of light and shadows, and of colors’ (considered here as a form) gives certain images a three-dimensional character. It is an example of this characteristic that I want to show with one of my photos as a case of ‘an abstract optical illusion’. Read More

Resisting time

—- “the sweet little white baby in the black nurse’s arms both of them bemused in heaven, a picture that should be blown up and hang in the street of Little Rock (AND IN THE AIRLINE TERMINAL OF ATLANTA GEORGIA) showing love under the sky and in the womb of our universe the Mother “—-
— Jack Kerouac’s original text from ‘The Americans’ by Robert Frank referring to the top photo of Frank from 1955 adapted by me for comparison with the (bottom) photo of the Atlanta Airport Terminal in Georgia, 1956 by Gordon Parks.
— 64-65 years have passed, these photos and the inhuman racial problem persist in time, resist in time.

— and Kerouac’s brilliant text also applies to Gordon Parks’ photo.

— everyone’s life matters, regardless of their skin color.


Robert Frank 1955 Gordon Parks 1956