summer

Never far off

Never far off

It was the 15th of August and I was photographically investigating the usual suspects, while preparing myself for a long trip to Rio. I was reading Neville Goddard’s “Prayer: The art of believing” and I found myself reading the same excerpt again and again: “Subjectively, the object of your desire is never far off. Rather, it’s intense nearness makes it remote from the observation of the senses. It dwell’s in consciousness and consciousness is closer than breathing and nearer than your hands and your feet”. Exactly like the objects of my photographic investigations…

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The Menu of Life and what to order

The Menu of Life and what to order

The tricky thing with the Menu of Life is not so much WHAT to order, but HOW to order… The menu consists of all the things one can possibly imagine -therefore CAN have- but usually people think that someone must bring to them whatever they choose while they hold in their hands the menu of a self service establishment. Nevertheless, as a photographic investigator, it is my job (and my pleasure) to photographically investigate the efforts of my subjects to order. I always wish that they succeed, but I can’t intervene. You see, there are rules in my profession…

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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 And then, in between my ET and Poltergeist memories there was this unpublished photographic investigation that I did in Giudecca, in May...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"... 

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Exploring Graceland

Exploring Graceland

Things had changed. A trip to Graceland wasn't a romantic fool's dream  anymore... You see, Graceland had passed in the hands of a mysterious organisation that made it invisible to this dimension -unless you had a very special map. And this map wasn't so easy to find. I was photographically investigating a courageous group of Graceland explorers who thought that knew where to find that map - I was after the map myself. 

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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. 

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Serenity

Serenity

Firefly was an amazing sci fi western series that had a short life. That, along with the fact that it was just brilliant made it a cult and a must see for every serious sci fi lover. If Firefly hadn't been untimely cancelled (after only one season), I am sure that Serenity (this is how the ship was called) would have -somehow- visited a planet called Venice. She was called "La Serenissima" after all and a photographic investigator knows only too well that there are not coincidences...

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Nightfall

Nightfall

She wanted to play Anne Bancroft's role in Jacques Tourneur's film noir, "Nightfall". She knew she could pull it off and so did her producer husband. I had investigated her many times in the past, but this time the investigation had taken an almost metaphysical "colour". "Things that really happen are difficult to explain"  her character says at one point in the film and this is how it works. Of course, what is real and what is not, is another investigation altogether... 

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L'année des méduses

L'année des méduses

It was a bad 1984 french film with Valérie Kaprisky. But then, everything that reminds us of our youth is seen through a "summer of innocence" filter, as I call it, that feels like the seventies summer films yellow hue looks like... The past is reinvented every time we recall it, and this was one of these times. It was summer in Venice and I was investigating this delicate and sweet young artist, an ethereal presence that decided to take off her shoes and move playfully... And then I saw them. The medusas. It was the first time they were seen in Venice and everyone thought it was a good omen. The incident had a french Riviera feel to it, just like this old movie. I thought it was a good omen as well.

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Luana in the garden part I

Luana in the garden part I

It was the day of the summer solstice and it was obvious that she was hiding. But not from me. My assignment was to investigate this beautiful woman who denied her divine nature for an obscure reason. She thought she was just a beautiful model but the way the garden embraced and protected her was more than eloquent to the contrary. it wasn't my job to reveal secret stories and I didn't try to. 

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Nicoletta's magic part I

Nicoletta's magic part I

There are many magical women in Venice and they excel in magic potions or spells that could make you instantly rich or famous or internationally admired. And although many people believe in them and visit them every year to renew the effectiveness of the magic they bought, I systematically avoid them because  there is nothing about them to be photographically investigated. But there was one venetian witch that had captured my interest -and that of my employers, obviously- because she made magic dresses and corsets that could bind or liberate, depending on the wishes of the client. And she was beautiful. Of course I was the witness of pure magic in her presence, as I saw her magically changing outfits while being investigated. This was the first one... 

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Little China girl

Little China girl

It was one day before the opening of the Venice Biennale. Only journalists were allowed, so I used one of my fake identities. Not so fake really, since a photographic investigator's job is not so different from that of a journalist's. Anyway, she also pretended to be one. You come to know those things after 2-3 decades of pretending. But she made my work very easy and I was thankful to her not only for this, but for her beautiful smile as well. She knew she was being investigated, but she allowed it. I made a mental note to look her up. A very interesting partnership could be in the horizon.

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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. 

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The Mexican

The Mexican

He was one of the most popular Californian novel writers and he liked mexican hats. I was hired to investigate him by a publishing house who wanted to hire him for a series of romance/detective novels who would have him as a hero. Unusual, I know... It's common knowledge that in such cases it's the writer who comes up with the proposal. But nothing in my job was ever... usual. So, I had to lure him to my house in the californian desert where I kept a collection of mexican, guatemalan and honduran hats. The plan worked just fine and in the end he promised me that he would dedicate his next novel series to me and my photographic investigation adventures. A fine deal.

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Communication

Communication

There are many ways to communicate and a photographic investigator knows that, although she has chosen to do it through visual stimulation, images and mood, these are the most deceptive forms of communication. But the important thing is to keep the channels open, despite of the importance, truth or value of the message conveyed. The only way to do that is to keep communicating. What will actually be communicated at the end of the day, has very little to do with the photographic investigator's intention or the recipients conscious perception. 

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Kanella

Kanella

Kanella means "cinnamon" in greek and as I am sure you have guessed by now, the word was the only clue I was given about this particular assignment. But nothing can beat an assignment on a greek beach so, I went, I investigated and the only thing I can reveal about my subject is that she gave me the opportunity to taste the best lamb stew in the galaxy. Kanella made it spicy, just like her name and her personality... To be continued...

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