The woman in the picture


I can almost hear this photograph. The day we started NOTES I thought I should write a post about this photo and how it reminded me of a time in my life that I can almost smell. The woman in the picture is my dear aunt Zenaida, I think she looks like a character from a Fellini movie: voluptuous, loud, colorful, warm, fun, charming; and she was just like that. Her voice could be heard from miles and her laugh was contagious. I stare at this photo trying to guess what exactly was happening at that precise moment when someone decided to snap a picture of her; a picture that could not be reviewed, deleted, retaken. Whether she was prepared to share it or not, her essence was captured and printed forever. 

I learnt last Saturday that my aunt had passed away, it’s still hard to believe she is not here anymore. At least not in that physical form, not with her voice, not with the big hair and the colorful blouses. 

I always wanted to do something with this photo, I always loved my aunt’s expression in it, the shape and color of her red hair, her big earrings, the Versace looking print of her blouse, the plant in the foreground… even that hand behind her head holding the plastic dish is perfection to me! Now that she’s gone, this is the closest thing I have to hear her laugh again. And I keep staring at this photo wondering, What was she saying at that moment? How funny was it? How loud it sounded? Did she laugh before or after the picture was taken?…

About Notes and Daniel Spoerri

The subtitle of NOTES; “An anecdotal topography of chance” is a direct reference of the book by Daniel Spoerri with the same title.

An Anecdotal Topography of Chance was born “In 1962 after a conversation with the poet Robert Filliou, Fluxus artist Daniel Spoerri mapped the objects lying at random on the table in his room, adding a rigorously scientific description of each. These objects subsequently evoked associations, memories, anecdotes; not only from the original author, but from his friends as well: a beguiling creation was born. Many of the principal participants of FLUXUS make an appearance (and texts by Higgins, Jouffroy, Kaprow, Restany, and Tinguely are included, among others). It is a novel of digressions in the manner of Tristram Shandy or Robbe-Grillet; it’s a game, a poem, an encyclopaedia, a cabinet of wonders: a celebration of friendship and creativity.”

Daniel Spoerri (born in Romania) is a Swiss artist, performer, writer and later restaurant manager. Here are some of his “snare pictures” and a extract of the book that has been so inspiring for us in the conception of this blog.