Sunday, May 8, 2011
[August 2010, Mallorca]
It was one of those days when the heat was so scorching, that it was unbearable to stand more than 30 feet away from the sea. I went to the water with Gonçalo, reminding David and Afonso that my camera is wrapped in a towel and find Mercé laying on the sand, eyes closed to the sky, her body wet by the saline water coming and going and with her hands under the sand. I whisper “Gonçalo” and look at Mercé’s body, as if it had been left abandoned:
– Fuck! – we whisper together.
“why don’t you photograph her?” he asks me. I try to explain him that my nerve has limits and that suggesting a photograph to a half naked woman for a blog where clothes are the main theme, can make me pass for a (very, very) sick person. He starts saying “but your blog is much more than just clothes” and as I start to tell him that he’s crazy, my mind starts accepting the idea – after all, our best friends are the ones with the necessary presumption and legitimacy to screw our mind until we do what they consider is best for us – and I remind myself that these are the moments that I appreciate the most. It were moments such as this one that made me start the blog. It’s strange to ask a perfect stranger if we can take their picture, but doing it all the time makes it almost mundane. With some tweaks here and there, we start to get the hang of it and soon it begins to feel like a routine. And like so many other things in this blog, I keep on experimenting and testing so that – at least here – I too don’t fall into routine. And that is what I did. Exactly what I always wanted to do. Fall off routine, and get as nervous as I did when I first kissed someone with whom I thought I would stay (forever?), or when I introduced myself to the CEO of the bank where I work saying something as stupid as “I have a blog”, or when I decided that it was the last time that I was going to be bullied by that jerk from the 7th grade and punched him twice in front of the whole class (of course that I got home with a black eye and a bleeding nose) or like in so many other times where my actions only had the purpose of making me feel alive. And when I decide to do something that transcends me… it’s like a roller coaster ride where my body just seems to slip away. And what’s curious (or perhaps obvious) is that I think in the person for whom I yelled all those times that I went to an amusement park to feel the adrenaline in my body:
– My mother.
It was her that I searched in all those times that I felt fear, in all those times when my heart beat impaired my hearing. It's her that we search for when, as a child, we talk with our kindergarten sweetheart in the room next door or, as a teen, when we kiss a girl for the first time or even later, when we debut ourselves undressing a woman. The same person in whom we think when we excel ourselves, either personally, professionally or on another level, for example, when I approached Mercé and told her “Hola” while, at the same time, I counted down the time until some 7-feet tall guy would come to me to hit me in the face.
I don’t know if this portrait can be considered fashion... if it will be your fashion. It is definitely my fashion. And my fashion is nothing but my own conception of beauty, of the visual, empirical, emotional or even strictly psychological and social stimulus. And if there were any doubts that this moment was special, they disappeared when, as we said goodbye, Mercé told me (and only then did I realize):
– Mañana seré madre.
That’s when I lost the fear. The fear of publishing this image. Of all the images, this one shouldn’t have caused me that. The image of a woman that is fashion. I don't know if it's yours, but it's definitely my fashion.
(to my mother, Gonçalo's mother, Mercé, her mother and all the mothers of these kids from an island nearby. It were these kids that, in an insomnia night – I’m still fighting the jet lag and the 5 hour time difference – that gave me the inspiration to write a text illustrating an image that I caught one day in a beach in Illetas)