Nadina arrived early and soon we were earnestly talking about daughters, trading stories about hers and mine. She conversed fluidly and with emphatic gestures. We switched between white clothing and black background and black clothing and white background. I ended up with a number of good shots but I couldn't decide on one that could communicate the way I wanted. This is often the case. It took me over a month before I decided on the top image. Often I end up in the centre of a field of possibility and I can push my interpretation in a number of directions. I almost decided on this one.
She was just a little tired and paused to rub her eyes, but the gesture is one of deep fatigue or unconsolable grief. It's not a great portrait of Nadina but it is a portrait of something.
Where is the truth in a gesture? Part of our fascination with photography is our fascination with the very idea of truth. We often have a strong emotional investment in the ontology of the image. Has it been changed? Is it trying to fool us or manipulate us? These questions are as old as photography itself.
From its beginnings, photography has lived in persistent conflict with the nature of its being and those elements which can define it. this conflict arises over whether it is the representation of truth or a mechanism for metaphors. Photography is the most painful reiteration of what we are and what we don't want to be. It is the truth constructed with pieces of truth and pieces of lies. It is what anyone wants it to be ... With photography, there is always a mystery, a veil which does not allow us to have the clarity we desire.
Jorge Gutiérrez. Director 1990 to 1994 Museo de Artes Visuales Alejandro Otero, Cararas. Quoted in "Image and Memory: Photography from Latin America."