The Vampire With Furniture In StorageSaturday, December 30, 2006
I first met Inga V, one afternoon, 28 years ago when she was working not far from from the Main Police Station. She specialized in showing everything without revealing anything. She looked at me in the darkness and I thought my days in this world were over. She looked at me, raised her right eyebrow, and I didn't know where to hide. But as I got to know her I found out there was a rosy side to her if you looked for it.
Inga had some identifiable and odd patterns. She owned valuable furniture. When she had it out of storage it meant she had a good relationship. When it was in storage it meant her emotional life was in state of flux. In one occasion she put her furniture in storage and followed a young man to Halifax who wanted to be a submariner. Inga wrote to me in shock about the trend then in Halifax for wicker toaster cozies. It was in there that Inga had to learn to drive a truck. She had until that point never driven anything. I cringe thinking about the hapless driving instructor having to teach a woman who could have easily been channeling Catherine the Great or Elizabeth Bathory-Nadasdy.
It was my tragedy to find out that Inga was an excellent makeup artist and stylist who could make instant dresses with long bolts of satin and safety pins. This meant that she was behind my camera more often than in front. But then she kept talking about this other photographer who could make her even more beautiful and I felt diminished in the comparison. I won magazine awards where my secret weapon for success was my collaboration with Inga.
Inga lent me her very used copy of Interview With A Vampire when it first came out, so we tried this series. I made several blunders like cropping her head at the wrong place or underexposing her. At the time her paramour was a South African set designer who was very jealous.
Some years later I photographed her (successfully) on her bed with her cat and in her tub (without the cat).