Italy

Space for rent

Space for rent

Krishnamurti said: “Freedom is space and space is order”. In my photographic investigations I have realised that space is owned and cannot possibly be rented. But my assignment was to photographically investigate some art installations in the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, to find out first hand if there was any truth to that statement. As I was following my oblivious subject, what I thought that it was a mind-block proved to be totally liberating. In the complete silence of the installation I realised something else that Krishnamurti has said in The Book of Life: “Having already done everything possible to find the answer, the mind becomes spontaneously quiet. There is an awareness without choice, without any demand, an awareness in which there is no anxiety; and in that state of mind there is perception. It is this perception alone that will resolve all our problems”.

Read More

Collision course

Collision course

Space 1999 has always been my favourite science fiction TV show. I was 7 years old when it was aired but I remember vividly all the episodes that I watched. Not long ago, I managed to find both series of this amazing TV show and I frequently watch a random episode for inspiration, as every self respecting photographic investigator would do. The one called “Collision course” is about a planet that appearances (and science logic) say that it will crush upon Moon base Alpha (that is stranded in space along with Earth’s moon) unless destroyed with nuclear bombs. But Commander Koening is reached by a being of this planet (in a form of a vision) that explains to him his part in the plot of events: that he is to let the planet touch the Moon base without fear so that it’s inhabitants can reach a higher, purely spiritual level of existence. Koening is struck and convinced by the power and sincerity of this being but finds resistance by the people of the Moon base Alpha who think that he is delusional, possibly from radiation sickness. In the end the cosmic bodies touch and the other planer disappears. The episode finish with Commander Koening saying: “Who could know that a planet in collision course would not collide but simply… touch?”

Read More

Reflections

Reflections

Electra was one of my subjects. She moved to another country in seek of a better life. I photographically investigated her again in Athens, 2 years after her departure and she was more miserable than before, even though her economic conditions were very much improved. I remembered then a documentary I saw an idle summer night in my beach house, about the chilean community in Greece and the greek community in Chile. There was a woman -that at that moment lived in Greece- who was describing her family’s life journey and she was always saying: “Then the crisis came and we moved to another country”. But that happened 3 or 4 times… This came to my mind when I was confronted with my friend’s misery and I said to her: “Problems go with the people, not with the places”. It was revealed as an indisputable truth to me. I didn’t know that Socrates had said the same thing though… I read it this morning. So I quote: “Why do you wonder that globe-trotting does not help you, seeing that you always take yourself with you? The reason which set you wandering is ever at your heels.’ What pleasure is there in seeing new lands? Or in surveying cities and spots of interest? All your bustle is useless. Do you ask why such flight does not help you? It is because you flee along with yourself. You must lay aside the burdens of the mind; until you do this, no place will satisfy you.”

Read More

Incognito

Incognito

She came from the future just to observe. Her mission had the code name “Incognito”, but how could she be incognito? My mission was to photographically investigate her and I never fail. Perhaps a more suitable name for her mission would be… “Beware of the Photographic Investigator”. But how could it be? Nobody in the future knew I existed. I know, I have checked it out myself.

Read More

The spirits of Rialto

The spirits of Rialto

Venice is full of spirits. A photographic investigator who is experienced in psychic photography knows where to look for them and more importantly, how to look… This will not be revealed in this blog post. The only thing I can disclose is that they like to wander in rainy evenings in Rialto, especially when “acqua alta” is expected…

Read More

Abundance

Abundance

A photographic investigator always seeks inner guidance, especially when they are experiencing dissatisfaction from an imposed situation (or what seems to be an outwardly imposed situation -which it never is…). Hexagram 55 came up: Feng=Abundance. “Feng is the zenith of abundance, where something is so full that it overflows. In the image of your overflowing inner reserves, you are not made empty even while you give; this is the way of a kingdom of abundance. The master said: “When the sun stands at midday, it begins to set: be not sad. The fullness and emptiness of life wax and wane in the course of time.” “That which attains the place in which it belongs is sure to become great. Therefore follows the idea of abundance.” 

Read More

Transformations

Transformations

It was a beautiful day in Venice, I was investigating a beautiful woman and her transformations. A trained photographic investigator ends up -sooner or later- realising that beauty is an energy and not a concrete, tangible thing. But her presence cannot be denied once it is perceived. That is why, very often, the most successful investigations are the unexpected ones.

Read More

Strangest things...

Strangest things...

It was the beginning of fall and I somehow got obsessed with the series "Stranger things". Maybe my 80's childhood was to blame, who knows... And then, in between my ET and Poltergeist memories there was this unpublished photographic investigation that I did in Giudecca, in May... What I was actually investigating is not of importance now, only the fact that I suddenly discovered an otherwordly ambiance to it -combined with the fact that the sea weeds made me think of the "upside down world"... 

Read More

Snow walking in Greenland

Snow walking in Greenland

The theme of the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale is "Freespace". Free space is vital -if a photographic investigator (and any other investigator for that matter, but you must be an investigator) wants to achieve  a free mind. Greenland's pavilion was one of my favourites. Not only for it's ample space and minimal concept, but for it's purity. There is a kind of mystical serenity that emerges through your core and enwraps you completely when you are walking in pure snow. The purity of snow triggers it. And this beautiful Greenland free space world, gave you the impression of walking on snow... And as a tropical island lover that I am, I can appreciate a good snow walk, believe me. 

Read More

An accident in paradise

An accident in paradise

It was a photographic accident. In the sense that the concept wasn't visualised by the infamous Mister and I didn't steal it -from a different angle though- as I usually did. I never liked concepts, but I wasn't opposed in other people having one -or more. In this case the model took the initiative to fall and in that moment, the venetian monastery where the "accident" took place seemed like paradise. 

Read More

Vatican Chapels

Vatican Chapels

"You saw me crying in the chapel, the tears I shed were tears of joy..." sung Elvis and one could easily cry of joy in the Vatican Chapels because they were so beautiful. Of course my subject weren't the chapels themselves but the one who found refuge in them. I had a photographic investigation to do but I also had a soft spot for beautiful people blending with beautiful architecture. My subject was pursued not by me, but from a group of mysterious, very handsome men with impeccable white shirts who invaded one day the vaporetto to San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. There was something mesmerising in their elegance and style but also something vaguely dark. All I had to do to find my subject was to follow them and I knew right there and then that this would be yet another one of my investigations that it's course had already changed in my mind...

Read More

Medusa

Medusa

I was hired to photographically investigate another strange Venice creature, another dangerous subject. Her name was Medusa, she also belonged to the infamous secret circle of Il Mister (although not so secret anymore after my numerous investigations and revelations) and, what a surprise, I wasn't told (again) why she was dangerous or why she went by that name. Well, Medusa had the ability to turn men into stone with her gaze -if that as the clue that i was supposed to figure out- but I wasn't a man. And even if I were, well, it would be an interesting turn of events, to end up as a stone statue in one of the most beautiful courts of Venice. She looked at me. I don't think I turned into stone. But then again... 

Read More

Juno

Juno

"Juno, the latin version of the greek goddess Hera, rules the month of June, and being the goddess of domesticity, makes June the most auspicious month for weddings". I read that in an old datebook that was sitting on my desk. I like browsing in old datebooks (both for inspiration and perspective) and that's what I was doing. It was a Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook of 2010. I always resented writing a journal, all my thoughts and feelings seemed always funny and ridiculous when I read them later on. So, no. What I liked to do was noting "headlines" about the day (some days, anyway). Like, "Today extraterrestrial weather, dust from the desert makes Athens look like Mars" or "I love him" or "Announcement: I am the new editor in chief"... Things like that.  I "accidentally" opened it in a July page and since there was no headline in that page and it was the middle of June, I went back a little and saw the Juno entry. A very dear friend and beloved model of mine got married a few days ago and I knew she was protected and blessed. I love June. It's the month you can have a glimpse of the goddess Juno strolling around in a garden, or sitting on a bench, relaxing. Earthy and divine, at the same time. No doubt about it: "I love June" - this could be a new headline, by the way. 

Read More

Close encounters

Close encounters

They were coming from another dimension. It's not only I who crosses the curtain in between worlds, it's them to. A photographic investigator can cross the curtain so many times, my energy, as I have mentioned before, was diminishing. For this reason, sometimes it's better to wait for them to come to me. First I saw only one -and then the rest of them followed. It was very much like The "Close Encounters" scene, in the end on the movie. This was not a movie though. And I would not recommend it... 

Read More

The gardener

The gardener

There was a mysterious gardener in Villa Herriot, in Venice. He appears in the mornings and talks to the few visitors of this magnificent place, but none of the residents is aware of his existence. He never appears in a company of more than 2 people and he always talks about the marvels of the garden and about other, mystical, hidden garden treasures in Venice. I saw him and I talked to him while passing through, but sadly, I didn't photograph him. When I talked to people of him, everyone looked at me like I was crazy... "Gardener? What gardener?", they said. I scheduled a photographic investigation in the Villa hoping to capture a shot of him. Of course he did not appear. My subject was beautiful and full of grace though... Her name was Ramona, and she had also seen the gardener. Maybe some gardeners can't be seen by everyone, I thought. Especially in Venice... 

Read More

Shooting in Arcana

Shooting in Arcana

Very often in Venice, spies like to disguise as fashion models. And it's a good disguise because it allows them not to avoid photographers while hiding. One of the paradoxes of the ingenious venetian spy web that I have come to know so well in the last years. The only clue that I had about the place of this photographic investigation was a word: Arcana. At first I though that it had to do with tarot cards (and started cursing because I had forgotten my tarot deck in Athens), but then I remembered  Corto Maltese's "Corte Sconta called Arcana" in his adventure "Fable of Venice". Of course I was one of the 5 people who had the key to this secret place. There are no coincidences in the photographic investigation business. He was there, waiting. I did my job, as  I always do. 

Read More

The final countdown

The final countdown

What can really be the end of a photographic investigator is not travelling in space, but travelling in time. And I've done that a lot... For some unexplained and probably mystical (or totally meaningless) reason, every time I had to travel in time I was going back to Venice. So, my energy resources were every time smaller, although my ticket was getting cheaper and cheaper. It felt like a countdown. "Al fin, que para morir nacimos" as they say in Mexico... "In the end, we are born to die". Who knows? Maybe the end of my photographic investigations would come in the middle, inside the time vortex, outside of time. I wonder if all my work would disappear with me too. It should, I think. 

Read More

Incognito

Incognito

I am not always hired to photographically investigate mysterious personalities. Sometimes my assignments have to do with some secret technological invention or material, informations hidden in peoples clothes or accessories and so on... This time I found myself again in Venice,  investigating... a dress. It was made by a revolutionary material, called "Incognito" that didn't need washing or ironing and could stay fresh for a maximum of 10 days, making it the ideal item for medium time getaways or business travel (even vacation). It was conceived to accommodate the ideal of "no luggage traveling", an ideal that I am proud to say that I am a great advocate of, since I love travelling to exotic places only with the clothes I am wearing, my photography kit and my book. I had figured that everything else I could need (mostly pareos, hats, sunscreen and swimming suits) I would be able to buy there. The dress in question was ideal for spring and summer travel and the traveler should be able to carry all that she would need in the large bag that came with it as an indispensable accessory, mostly because women feel secure by caring a bag -being a huge bag carrier myself, this is a mystery I haven't solved yet. 

Read More

The gondola connection

The gondola connection

One of the most essential reasons mystery people -the people I investigate- prefer Venice for their activity is that Venetians never use gondolas. They are reserved for the dreadful tourists. So the people in question use them widely. Who wants to look at a tourist in Venice? Hiding in plain site has always been their game. 

Read More