Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Photographic Memory

Venice, December 1992, J Bowring

It was like trying to lay a negative over a printed photograph so that they coincided, so that there were no gaps -- of white and black -- and she just couldn't manage it. It was like trying to do it in a dream.

Nina Berberova, The Book of Happiness

Returning to places, to people, is always fraught. Anticipation. Expectation. The elusiveness of times past. Nostalgia and melancholy circle the impossibility of return. But places are seductive. Their call rings out over the years. And this particular siren, Serenissima ... the most serene ... Venice. And again the call comes to visit in the time of darkness, dampness, dankness. Memories remain of the last visit, low light, diffusion, imprecision. The water of the lagoon covered the Piazza San Marco and the squares navigated on raised boardwalks, as on a stage, dancing with others making their way through the city. And the water was knee deep in the Basilica, and while the visitors glided in on the board walk, elevated, in a moment of micro-transcendence, the attendants stood about in their waders - thigh-high gumboots. Profane footwear for a sacred site. The return ... the photographic memories still insistent ... but soon to float like negatives over a newly processed scene ...
Venice - The Lido, December 1992
(click images to enlarge)


billoo said...

Jacky, first things first..congratulations!!

sorry, haven't visited your blog for a while and so didn't know about it. I'd say I'll place an order for it like the others but I don't have a credit card and I doubt it would get here in one piece anyway!

Once again, many congratulations.

Take care,


btw, love the book of happiness.

jacky bowring said...

Thanks Billoo - Yes I read the Book of Happiness on your recommendation! And it is marvellously wrought, reminds me of my fleeting visit to St P.
Hopefully the book will make its way to wherever you are some time ...
best wishes, jacky