sin cartografías / ni valientes capitanes

it was her who won the bet and so they packed for:

the ocean, not the camel
tortillas, not dunes
the jungle, not the oud
the feathered serpent

in his bag: orhan pamuk’s the new life, something by flann o’brian, a rollei 35, a notebook. later joined by el naranjo (carlos fuentes). bolaño? not heard of yet. 

ruffled and mystified, he was back sooner than thought. relating a tale of love gone astray, grateful for the welcome home.


why not share some of the photographs taken on that errance? serve tamales, beer and mezcal to friends and family? but: not a single passable picture on the dozen films in the maleta mexicana. 

here is another try, late by 20 years, looking out into the atlantic from its oriental shores. a project that takes its title from a poem by roberto bolaño. 


el mar i
silver gelatin print, handtinted


la serpiente y las plumas
silver gelatin print, toned


el mar ii
cyanotypes on watercolour paper
from waxed paper negatives


las dos orillas
acrylic transfer on watercolour paper
from a triple exposure on 70mm film


flores océanicas 
cyanontype photograms of algae


el mar iii
silver gelatin prints
from pinhole photographs on 35mm film


suggested soundtrack

the aguirre album by popol vuh? ocean of storms by el búho (and his tulúm boiler-room-set)? wölf by stiller has? to the sea with yellow and stina nordenstam? debussy’s la mer? the toy dolls’ worse things happen at sea?

and why not listen to the the big read of the rime of the ancient mariner (with iggy pop, marianne faithful …)? or to the podcast sea goings?



the line sin cartografías / ni valientes capitanes is from roberto bolaño’s poem para rosa lentini (hermosos instantes sin memoria, 1978-1981) in the collection la universidad desconocida (2007).

the sea monster depicted in la serpiente y las plumas is a 130m long sculpture by huang yong ping, unleashed in 2012 close to saint-brevin-les-pins (france).  

las dos orillas is a short story in carlos fuentes’ el naranjo (1994).

photographs made over autumn and winter 2019/2020 in portugal and france.