29 April 2009

My Laura / Our Philip / Phil Breeze / His Laura / (My Back Pages)

This is mine. Me. Hers. His. Isn't she spectacular? She was younger than me now ("...ahhhhhhhwww but I was, so much older then, I'm younger...than...that...nowwwwww...."), but already accomplished, a woman in many rights, about to meet me, having already met my Father...FF to 2009: Breezy (hi Breezy) is married to a Laura himself. Maybe Breeze was my Grandpa Philip in another life? Nah, that is too easily/literally circuitous... It is obvious we only have one life. Fucking soap operas always more accurate than we would like them to be...so, yesterday we spoke of my nanny project...for a long time. I had a rather intuitive / sensitive day; fascinating...and came to some (lame/obvious/true) realizations...albeit (can i say albe-them???) big realizations...albethem big realizations...my nanny project, hidden behind words like 'domestic workers' 'women of color' 'surrogate motherhood' and ideas that dance around class/politics/race and (now) two photos (Robert Frank / Ian Blueberry) of black nannies and white babies...is really nothing more than my exorcism regarding motherhood (past / present / possible future). Namely: no one else could have raised me. i am not ready for the ineffable. i still have an umbilical chord (we joke mom, but really...). she had me at 28. i look like her to an extent but not exactly alike...which i guess i see loosely speaking to the idea of nannies as CHOSEN mothers, not chance mothers...and what does it do to a white boy (pardon me) to look at a beautiful woman from Granada for the first 8 years of his life? Nothing? Anyway, all of a sudden it got more complex. Especially when OURS is nothing but unconditional singular LOVE---and love, the word, the sound, the idea, the power of it---has no place in academics, does it? Not even in art...not so explicitly as what I guess I am drawn to BY NATURE: warmth, accessibility, acceptance, touch...in sum: warm fucking fuzzies!...that is not cutting edge journalism, now is it? is what i really am exorcising is a big exhale, a photographic-"phew" at the luckiness of the situation i was born into?! this little Laurita was essentially, born for me?! Isn't that how children see their world? I am the sun/daughter, and you turn around and for me?

Ironic, because I thought, if anything, I'd be exorcising father-issues in my photography, not Mother issues...because she and I have none...

Anyway, I disappointed myself a little bit...even though I know, in my heart of hearts of palm, I am not a particularly controversial type...although I suppose we write about what we know / and we photograph what we know, or didn't know we know, or need to know more or WHATEVER...and SHE is the only thing I KNOW. She is that place Barthés talks about, after Freud...she is my landscape, that familiar, particular space from which I will/must build everything...this specific photographic (project) process, then, has been more than just a logorrhea of confused words and ideas, or a relapse into bulimic tendencies as exorcism, or an exorcism of self and images, but an actual heimlich...heimlich: an "awakening in me the Mother...."

(pg. 40 - Camera Lucida)

Bailarinas (Fuck a Wheel Chair)

Better than drugs but just as addictive is something which gives you life and makes you move as a testament to the life you're trying / unwillingly / willingly / instinctively living.

Marinita / Vertical Jazz Hands

An English rose she is...managing to grow despite the 12 months of rain (Pop just lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvves the color grey. ab-so-looote-lee ah-dorrrres the colour grey.....). I wonder how she is and if she will be much different at 10. I bet she'll be married before me...OKAY OKAY, not a contest...I know...it's just that I'm psychic, that's all.

Marinita Rose Borja
Has her Mama's toes
to love me
despite distance
in turn
we both grows...


23 April 2009

behind every good elmo is a good man

...elmo has a face. here it is. so does bugs bunny, or doesssssssssssssssss he? for 6 months i've seen elmo handing out pamphlets in times square. last week i saw the man behind the elmo mask getting ready for work. bugs bunny was nice, too, but felt he was less photogenic, and stayed out of the frame as such...

today i realized i take photos of people in serious service, 'service' positions (nannies / bussboys / elmos) because it is my ultimate fear--fear--that i am not the princess i always thought i was (treated as / within our means / somehow / money comes...) and that someday (tomorrow) i will have to work very, very, very, very, very hard for something that i want monetarily and personally...i want to be proud about what i'm doing! but that is a luxury, of course. i'm sure a lot of people working in midtown, for starters, wish they had a mask / costume to jump into when they arrived at work in the morning...as a title often doesn't mean shit about the man, or the woman.

wanting and waiting is a dubious combo. i'm dumping both tonight.

19 April 2009

13 April 2009

What We Saw (Me First, Then You) : For JJ

JJ and I went to Sunset Park this week for our first ever business meeting..."business meeting" i.e. we ate tacos and marveled at the shortcomings of the tomatillo sauce at Tacos Xochimilco. We drew up a list of places this girl could begin writing to and shooting for (hi) close to now...or graduation. Before the business meeting we walked through Sunset Park and down 5th Avenue. I realized then that walking with me and JJ is like hoping to swim laps in the ocean...not quite efficient...ambitious, but maybe fruitless / unrelated...nor do we strive to be! Anyway, between us there is a hypersensitivity to the world that delays any of our ambles anywhere...he 'discovered' food before I 'discovered' photography...but now we are both obsessed (read: PASSIONATE) people with our own FILTERS for life and our day to day...he sees a lot through food / history / tastes / words / chefs / high brow low brow / languages and I see a lot...I see a lot. Or I look a lot. Not sure which. Either way, looking proves antithetical to talking AND walking, let alone spending QT with a person AND A CAMERA...IT'S IMPOSSIBLE for me, which is why AMBLING is my favorite game and HAN SOLO is my favorite name...Anyway, it's JJ...I can talk and shoot, right? I can smell and sniff chillies with him and also take pictures, no? The lovely thing is that via our respective passions, each day holds the possibility of NEW / MORE...not in a greedy way, but in an optimistic (opportunistic?) way...i.e., every day we embrace the potential to create something (phrased most positively there).....................Long story short, no, long ramble longer: we walk down Sunset Hill (official name) and I see a white horse in the trees. I ask Jay Juh if that looks like a white horse...he says what? where? I point there! over there! He says no. I said ok, let me take a picture and we'll see if we can't make the bag turn into a little white horse. He says: "you're insane, Train." We continue on, finally settling down to our business meeting. We taste the tomatillo sauce. He says it should be fresher and tangier. I have nothing to measure this against. I am at the mercy of his word. I trust him. Is that insane?

Young Love #1: Belinda / James

If you were me, would you make the same joke that I did about his black eyes? Think about it for a second...if your answer is somewhere along the lines of "ohhhhhhh don't let your girl beat you like that..." or something equally inane, then you, too, are an old person: LIKE ME! I know this because he quickly exhaled "that's what every body's been saying!".... I am officially OUT THE LOOP...FREEZING COLD OUT ON THE STOOP...BANISHED TO THE POOP (DECK)!

My goodness I love these kids. They go to "City as High School," which is -- if it lives up to its name -- an amazing idea. By the same token, then, my high school should have been called "Uniformity as Desirable" or "Dickheads as Male Friends," or something...dunno...anyway, I have been seeing a lot of wonderful couples on the train lately. They are so beautiful. I can't wait for spring.

Vicki Smiles

We try to keep smiles at a minimum here on Looting and Preserving. The smile here, however, goes with the nails. They match, you see. Catch it. I saw Vicki's nails from Pluto I mean from 34th Street...It was a crowded train but I shoved my shit (sorry about the backpack!) over to her and I essentially stood above her staring at her nails as she read the book "Fashion of the 20th Century" (by Phaidon?) for a few stops. We got off at the same spot, and there you have it.

Pops Rides The Train / Uncombs Braids

I wanted this picture so badly that I was afraid to ask, for fear that the answer would be no. Because of that, I received 2 tolerable albeit unclear / distant frames of this wonderful (to me) father, sitting on the train, shouldering three sleeping babies, and untangling his daughter's braids with a fine white comb. He never looked up from under his baseball hat. He was in one of those states that is actually a pleasure to be in on the train sometimes: comfortable, meditative, safe, unconcerned. Anyway, that pretty much sums up a lot of my experiences in life, for the worse...being afraid to ask (i.e., try / show / say) for fear of the NO (rejection / criticism / honesty) and thus you get SOMETHING...but maybe you could have gotten something BETTER or nothing at all...and you would have learned or grown because of that...

does that make sense? it does to me.

Dog Day Afternoon / Wind Central

The guy next to him had a Great Dane stuffed inside his windbreaker...

12 April 2009

the clock as map

chunky furniture around these parts. the fort greene tower (clock tower) has become my half dome of brooklyn...if i get out of the subway disoriented i look for this clock, it's the tallest thing about the skyline, most of the time...now, this, of course, only works within a few specific miles of brooklyn, and by this point i have - more or less - figured out how to get to point B, but i still consider the clock my half dome...that ridiculous monolith that never, ever, ever, ever moves...i (proudly) climbed that slab of piedra over the course of 12 hours the summer of 2001. at the top i found, as you might expect 4,737 feet above the valley floor of yosemite, an appreciation for breath, that is breathing, breathing life...as well as a whole new list of TO-DO's and promises that i often make to myself about body, pride, hearts, family and the here and now... if you can see it, you can get there. i haven't been back to yosemite since that summer because i got so sick of seeing that rock every time i stepped out of my tent...it never changes, just the light over it does.

(pay no mind to the streak of whatever down the middle of the blue...duane reade's photography department did that on purpose...i requested the "scanned from a glossy print from a disposable camera taken in the 1990s" look, so that is exactly what duane reade gave me)

08 April 2009

Mana / Samantha

Last Thursday, I called my Mom to tell her I met a beautiful, knitted-capped, apple-cheeked, gold-toothed Queen named Mana and she told me Mana means "gift from God." I told Mana this yesterday, but she already knew...The baby is Samantha. She is 3 months old. Two Fridays ago Mana said goodbye to Daniel, an 8-year old boy who she had raised since infancy. On Monday she started this new 'job,' i.e., Samantha. Of course, it's not a job...it's a baby / human / thing / sponge...but it is a job, too. Samantha starts crying when she is on any other chest than that of Mana's...

04 April 2009

Lori in Toe Shoes Prepping for Ballet Class on a Friday Afternoon

Lori eats one meal a day. She has danced most of her life. As I mentioned earlier, she is one of many frequenters of Broadway Dance Center, where yours truly and a couple thousand more go to work their shit out. I wanted to do a project with Lori but she didn't understand. Our conversations were incredibly strained because she kept believing that she needed to prove and re-explain her qualifications as a dancer and performer for me to be interested in her, when I was the one who approached her in the first place. I think she thought I was 'real-deal.' I began to get the feeling no one had paid her any attention in half a century. None. In the end (after a few weeks) it became clear that photography also deals in short-term relationships / flings / quick escalations of emotion. I wanted something from her, and then I didn't.

*Note: We still write each other.*

The Blueness of Things

I walked over to these two mostly because Annabella's deep blue eyes were asking me to. Annabella has a twin sister, Georgina, who is much smaller and with finer features, and less brilliant eyes. She will probably be the one who ends up ok, confident, hard-working, intelligent, and married before her beautiful sister, Annabella. Both should know, however, that they are both brilliant, and both beautiful. They are as much conjoined as they are free, they mean nothing and everything to each other at once. Their situation is just happenstance. Ex-roommates, you could say...
Their nurse has cared for them from the moment they were born. She was trained to work in hospitals as a 'baby nurse' but likes the liberty of working outside and for different families and traveling to various states around the nation when duty calls. Her primary duty (aside from guarding their lives) is to get the babies on a regular sleeping and eating schedule before a Nanny is hired to continue raising them. Her Mother named her Sapphire.

03 April 2009

Photo of a Young Thing Who Still Hides, Dolores Park 1985 (por Lalo Borja)

All I remember is the taste of the leaf when I stuck my tongue through it. I remember that Pop always carried around a teeny knife for creative meanderings such as leaf masks, sling shots, impromptu back drops or impromptu picnics at Baker Beach. This park, in present day San Francisco, is still green and defined by tall palms and grasséd slopes that give you a view of the best parts of Bay and the buildings, but the hipsters inhabit most of its space on any given day. The paleta carts remain, as do the childrens' birthday parties that take place by the swings, and of course, my insane territorial sensibilities also...remain.