noir

A discovery of...

A discovery of...

I was obsessed with that new TV series, A Discovery of Witches and suddenly, wherever I looked in Venice, I saw vampires, witches and demons… I also realised that there were bewitched places that could be seen only with the corner of the eye. Was it “Somebody else’s problem” (as Douglas Adams would say) or was it mine?

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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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The dark mirror

The dark mirror

She always had it in her purse. The dark mirror. A little mirror that would remain dark unless her partner and soul mate was around. This mirror had been dark for a long time since this man was missing -somewhere in Sierra Nevada. It was too dangerous to try to contact him, so she was letting her instinct lead her to nearby destinations in the high mountains of California. She was hiding in the shadows and secretly picking at the little mirror. My assignment was to steal it from her, but I let her suffer by it's darkness a little more. Maybe like this she wouldn't miss it so much afterwards.

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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. 

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The thin man

The thin man

The clues I usually get are as vague as this one, so I wasn't really surprised. It was easy to find him and to follow him in an empty hotel. He started going down and down and down some endless stairs. "What could happen?" I thought... Well, I should have asked myself another question -and there are so many... Because as soon as I blinked, in the place of the thin man there was a thin woman. Going down and down and down these stairs... 

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The interview

The interview

It was scheduled for Christmas day of 1944 in a New York hotel and, as it happened so often lately, I had to travel in time -again. I was a little concerned because a photographic investigator can safely make no more than 6 time travels in a period of 2 years and this would be my 5th one. I didn't want to waste them in case a grand photographic investigation opportunity presented itself... It would be a crime not to be able to go, but, the truth is that you can never know if an investigation is important until after the investigation. So, I couldn't say no, although I was reluctant in my heart. But I also had faith. Besides, even if it would end up to be a complete debacle, there would be something there for me, anyway. The year was 1944 and I had met the infamous film noir director Otto Preminger in another time travel photographic investigation. We had some good laughs and he promised me that the next time we met, he would let me investigate Gene Tierney right at the premiere of the greatest film noir of all times, "Laura", that was due for that same day. They say it's bad luck to wish for a photographic investigation to fail, but I did anyhow... 

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Magic thoughts

Magic thoughts

From time to time I have come to encounter subjects that had the knowledge of how to shape the things to come. It's simple, really, for a photographic investigator to know how it is done, since their job is to observe, but usually difficult for subjects -who are accustomed to be observed or trying to avoid being photographically investigated. Tomorrow is not a fact, but today is. What you are thinking and feeling now, will inevitably shape your tomorrow. Having a subject consciously shaping her future, was a real delight for me. 

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Le clan des Sicilians

Le clan des Sicilians

She was being watched and she knew it... Ennio Morricone's mesmerising theme from an old french movie with Alain Delon, Jean Gabin and Lino Ventura was haunting the almost deserted pavilions of the Biennale of Venice. Something was wrong and each time footsteps approached she felt the danger. But not fear. Of course I was there not only to investigate her but also to protect her from her pursuers. It was her shoes that they wanted. In the heel of the left one there was a hidden secret. Pressure would destroy it, so the only way to ensure her safety was to make her run... And I did. 

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Mis Legs (part 1)

Mis Legs (part 1)

Another obscure Venice personality, connected to the Mister circle of spies and other mysterious people... Her code name was "Mis Legs" not only for the obvious reasons but because this was the last thing her enemies saw after they were defeated... I investigated her through many angles and the fact that you are seeing the fruits of my photographic investigation proves that I wasn't her enemy. To be continued...

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Coffeelosophie

Coffeelosophie

A relatively new field of philosophy that comprises Zen, positive thinking and stoicism, that photographic investigators, such as I, just can't get enough of... The secret to engage one's subjects of the investigation in coffeelosophic chatter is to present them with a problem of the human existence or situation. And then shoot, trying to be a part of the chatter. It's not easy, subjects tend to get frustrated when the realise it's just a trick.  An experienced photographic investigator always participates convincingly! 

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Magazines & other routines

Magazines & other routines

Magazines rime with routines mostly because you read a magazine whilst you get on with your usual routine... Having coffee, smoking, laying on the beach or in bed, commuting on a bus or train... Simple things that a keen photographic investigator notices... 

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Dogon

Dogon

She was named after the infamous Mali tribe and she frequented a bar named Sirius... And I don't believe in coincidences... It goes without saying that she was a woman of mystery and many hidden talents. My assignment was to follow, befriend and photographically investigate her in order to discover clues about a hidden treasure. Was it hers, was it a legacy, was it mystical, ancient or stolen? I was dying to find out because since my first investigative steps, as a child, I was always looking for treasures. And although I would be very well satisfied with gold or diamonds, I suspected from the start that it was about something else, much more precious, much more subtle. I got to work fast, because I was promised a 25% cut on that treasure. The investigation is still ongoing. 

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The reality project

The reality project

Photographically investigating people who aren't real -but they think they are- is a challenge... Who knows... maybe I am being investigated myself right now. How do I know for sure that I am real? When the question really arises, answering it becomes a true challenge... You should try it yourself! 

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La Nuit américaine

La Nuit américaine

My intention was to fool my employers that this investigation had taken place at night somewhere in Giudecca, in Venice... My subject, a woman of mystery, didn't give me any trouble, it was almost as if we had planned a photo shooting... Truffaut's film gave me the idea for the deception but I couldn't go through with it... Underexposing an underexposed situation seemed to me ironic and pointless... It wouldn't be the first time that an investigation would take a different twist... I decided to follow that one to see where it goes... 

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Rings

Rings

She was a Woman Without a Face and my only clue was: "Follow the rings" -whatever that meant. Of course, as soon as I located her, I knew... She could change her face no more than 3 times in 24 hours. And every time she had to use one of the 3 rings she wore. She could acquire one more ring -after a series of trials and rites i don't want to know nothing about- and that would place her at the top of the hierarchy of her kind, which was a very big deal. I guess that's why I was chosen to photographically investigate her. It was the eve of her great "test". I wholeheartedly hoped that she survived it... 

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Nicoletta's corsets (part I - the Black Corset)

Nicoletta's corsets (part I - the Black Corset)

Nicoletta was a magical being. She created enchanted garments in a little shop in Campo S. Giovanni e Paolo in Venice. Her creations were famous for the special attributes they gave to the one who wore them, so I was hired to investigate 4 of her most powerful corsets. First, the Black Corset. Probably the most impressive one. It's secret, and greatest power, was that it could hide the halo that surrounds exceptional, spiritual beings from clairvoyant agents that worked for... (let's put it this way)... darker forces. It was a protection, a magical armour for ethereal presences. And it worked perfectly. Nicoletta used Luana, a beautiful fairy, to model her corsets and make sure that they served their purpose. And I was the witness. 

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