Collecting (13) – Diapositives

I was recently in New York and I finally managed to visit the famous Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market. There, I found this slide holder full of photos that seem to belong to a single family. These kind of images always have a disturbing effect on me, especially diapositives, maybe because their format keeps the mistery for a longer time, at least until we project them on a screen or digitize them. But then, they are still volatile. A photograph needs a real (not a virtual) support. The role of diapositives in the history of vernacular photography can give us some hints on the possible effects of the massification of digital photography and digital storage. Just think about this: which photos of your family have endured (in your memory),  those from the albums, printed on paper, or those in reversal film? What is more amusing, to browse through a family album, or to watch the slide projection of your friend’s 1978 holydays in Rome?


Behind carte-de-visite


Words and Photography (Peter Handke)

Als das Kind Kind war,
hatte es von nichts eine Meinung,
hatte keine Gewohnheit,
saß oft im Schneidersitz,
lief aus dem Stand,
hatte einen Wirbel im Haar
und machte kein Gesicht beim fotografieren.

When the child was a child,
it had no opinion about anything,
had no habits,
it often sat cross-legged,
took off running,
had a cowlick in its hair,
and made no faces when photographed.

Impromptu (2)

Carlos M. Fernandes


Guidelines can be constraints. Dates, location, themes, series: they can help you as well as tie you to your own method. Minor journeys don’t seem to matter anymore, not when you’re on a circumnavigation journey.

Carlos M. Fernandes


Carlos M. Fernandes

John Gutmann in Granada

John Gutmann was born in 1905 in Breslau, Germany (now Poland, since 1945). In 1927 he moved to Berlin, where he lived and worked until 1934. Being a Jewish, he then had to flee from Germany (to San Francisco), also because he soon acknowledged that the national-socialists were not tolerating any artistic expression outside the party’s line. In the United States, Gutmann started a new chapter in his career as a creative photographer and a teacher. He died in San Francisco in 1998.

The Jose Guerrero Center, in Granada (Spain), is presenting, until the April 3, an exhibition of John Gutmann’s photographs, produced by the Center for Creative Photography, in Arizona, where the full archive of his work is located.

Carlos Miguel Fernandes