Oct 10, 2009

"Unglaubliche Geschichte um die Ecke", Pau, France, 1986 (Rolleiflex 3.5 F)


Many years ago, the good Lord might remember when (I had to look up...), I was travelling in the company of my good old friend Fred, on our way from Portugal to Germany (or was it the other way?).

After crossing the Pyrenees, we spent a couple of days in Pau, staying at another close friend's home. Pakica (Francisco is his real name) used to live at that time in this nice and friendly town.
Because of our geographical distance, we always had so much to remember about the months we had been apart, living our far away lives, fighting our separate struggles and savouring our separate short happy moments.





"Lust zum Wegfahren"

You might have noticed that I titled this minuscule photographic sequence in german language. That's how I called it by then. I will try to shed some light on the subject...

The main tittle means something like "Unbelievable Story Down the Corner"...

Actually, there was something surrealistic about the whole situation: me and Fred just walked randomly in the neighborhood killing time and putting our legs to some work.
I had brought the Rolleiflex with me and I occasionally made an exposure of some scene that I thought might be worthy of some visual interest. It all flew rather calm and relaxed, unstressed...

All of a sudden a car stops by and an older man jumps out, asking very nervously what we were doing. In our rusty french, we tried to explain that we were just doing nothing special, strolling around visiting town.
The good old man was not satisfied with our modest explanations and kept making more and more absurd questions. When he ultimately asked what "race" did we belong, we decided to completely ignore him and kept our way, doing as before.

He then drove rageful and paranoid, mumbling something about police and other stupidities.
Every few minutes he kept driving by, threatening und cursing us.

He even picked up a camera and started photographing us! From far away, from the security of his car...
We couldn't keep from laughing and finally felt some kind of pity on him.

Poor mad man... He had so much demons to live with...

I would like to emphasise that all this happened long before the ghost of terrorism, before September 11th and all this kind of sordid occurences.
I am talking about a peaceful sunny afternoon in an european town free of conflict, with two pacific young people enjoying the tranquil quiteness of some sleepy streets.

What brings me to the point of saying that "the moral of the story, the moral of this song, is simply that one should never be where one does not belong.
So when you see your neighbor carrying something, help him with his load, and don't go mistaking Paradise for that home across the road".

And yes, I was paraphrasing Bob Dylan in his song "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest", from the album "John Wesley Harding", from 1968.

For the photo freaks: all images were shot on the 14th of August 1986, using a Rolleiflex 3.5 F, loaded with Kodak Tri-x film, developed in Kodak D-76, diluted 1+1.
The images shown here were scanned from original silverprints (printed by me), using an Epson 4990 Photo.

1 comment:

  1. que bem, gostei muito desta série :)
    bem, e essa rolleiflex... %) eu nem quero pensar em MF :D