ANDRÉA C. NIETO:
More honest than good.
Wide Edit no.07
ANDRÉA NIETO: More honest than good.
In a flimsy notebook is written the process of nearly every roll we’ve developed in the last three years, times and dilutions and unique formulas, many mistakes. A space for notes at the bottom to talk about results (errors).
My background in science and clinics and research makes me very formulaic, very, “this worked” vs “this didn’t” due to cause of X. Inevitably, the formula is polluted by what it feels like.
When I look at the image I remember how I felt when I was holding the camera. When I look at my notes on development and print, I’m reminded of the second interception in making a photo.
When I continue to make the image far away from where I took it, I’m transported to what I felt, where I made a decision to take the image and then however long later, I find out what I think.
These are pictures I’ve felt uncomfortable with but for some reason couldn’t stop looking at and grew a closeness to, and after a print or many different types of scans, a development process that produced an image so far away from what all my other images look like the only consistency is that I took them. I notice attentiveness to scenes, arrangements or my own position with the camera over the span of 8 years and get to know myself more that way. Asi veo cuando estoy enamorada, desesperada, desenamorando (no debía tomar esa.)
[thats how I look when I’m in love, desperate, falling out of love (I shouldn't have taken that one.)]
To continue making images for me is to continue to confront disappearance and dying and commit to making images that are more honest than they are good. I am so tired of good photo.
In the same way, I feel very simply on a mountain about my mortality: “I will miss this”
when I’m in the darkroom I feel about my work: I simply make photos because I love them, they bring me pleasure.
I am not sure what purpose they all serve.
Some Notes on these Prints/ Scans/ Developments:
Developed the last Malinche roll in a more concentrated microfine stock [developer] and tried the steam pushing [method to push to film a stop with hydrogen peroxide steam] which worked but it’s all weird. The sky is darker than I remember it being and like the veracruz roll it has some of those spots.
I’m frustrated with never being consistent enough to find out what the problem is in development, I can see my impatience. Printing might help.
[note I took next to a print of 8. Malinche]
In the small valley behind the peak I have my face pressed to a batch of small moss and knees in small pink rocks. It is warmer here than the peak and still early, it is dry and my breath is shallow and I’m a bit light headed.
The position of my body makes me think of the dream I started having last year, the one where I am on a wet dark rock in a cave where the ocean still comes in and it's humid to where my breath is shallow like it is now on the top of this mountain. I breathe into the rock and it breathes back into me and the rock becomes softer and I am writing into it with my fingers like it's sand and I can hear someone who is also in the cave say, “asi se escribe un epitafio”. My head moves in cycles between mountains and ports and peaks and caves, for the last year, and I become very obsessive about being there more so than making anything about it, writing and printing happen in loops to understand what I think, after time I see those errantries.
Rescanned the roll from Brazil 2016 and Mazatlan last week and see the same things which makes me wonder what happens to me when I’m near the water with my family to make me take similar pictures. I think about the conversation Em and I had the other night.
Obsesiono con las cosas no por hacer trabajo o una imagen o un símbolo, pero porque los amo tanto, porque tomo tiempo con ellos. [I obsess with things not to make work or an image or a symbol, but because I love them so much, because I take time with them.]
A friend asks me if this works for my work. If I am being honest
No se si esto me conviene emocionalmente– meterme en mi trabajo cuando me siento así, a veces me llena y a veces me deja desvencijada. [I don’t know if it works for me emotionally– to go into my work when I feel like that, sometimes it fills me and sometimes it leaves me broken apart.]
10 ago. 2022
Quiero destacar cualquier insinuación para ser frugal para decir lo quiero decir y quebrarlo. Que foto como amor siempre me provoca ir más lejos, ser más honesta. Menos enamoramiento con como se ve o funciona una imagen y más con el compromiso con cómo se siente uno. En tiempos que salían buenas, tenerme fe no era tan difícil. [I want to bring out every insinuation to be frugal with saying what I want to say and break it. That photo like love always provokes me to go further, to be more honest. Less infatuation with how it looks or functions and more with the commitment to how one feels.
In times when they came out good, having faith wasn’t so hard.]
[added October 2022]
Ahora salen exigentes y tienen ego y sepan lo carnoso que son y bueno ahí hay que tener fe cuando se siente uno así. Demasiado. [now they come out demanding and they have ego and they know how fleshy they are and well there you have to have faith when one feels like that. A lot.]
A word that comes to mind is fortitude.
Titles: (in order of arrangement)