A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


A Nostalgia For Women In Skirts & Dresses
Thursday, May 08, 2008

It is vivid and indelible in my memory. I was 7 or 8 years old and I was with my mother in a colectivo (a Buenos Aires bus). So vivid is my memory that I remember that we were on the fashionable Calle Esmeralda. A woman got on the bus with a little creature in tow. He or she was wearing a dress but he or she had very short hair (a crew cut). I could not decide if this was a boy dressed as a girl or some kind of strange girl. When I was that age the difference between the sexes was obvious. Boys wore short pants and men wore long pants. Girls and women wore dresses or skirts. When my mother took me to see a film with Katherine Hepburn I was most confused. Here was a woman who almost had a man's voice. And she wore pants. Not long after a little American girl came to my house to play and asked me if I wanted to see it. It was then that all my confusion about the sexes began.

Now that the 20th century has slipped into the 21st it seems obvious that skirts and dresses will go the way of Body by Fisher.

That is why I long for the nostalgia of my past in Argentina where in my imagination (perhaps) women were women and I was never confused (except for that little girl who must have had very thin hair). I can relive that nostalgia by glancing through the files of Linda Lorenzo.

This Argentine beauty posed for Juan Manuel Sanchez, Nora Patrich and me in my studio or in Nora's house for over a year. We drank mate, spoke Argentine Spanish and relived a life when everything was in its proper (for us) place.

Juan asked Linda to pose with a guitar. I was appalled at his cliché on how a guitar resembles a woman. But Linda posed and I snapped my picture and joked with Juan. Now that Juan and Nora are divorced and live in separate aparments in Buenos Aires with new partners I would be prepared to photograph whatever cliché Juan could cook up just to share the comfort and joy of gazing at a woman who is woman.

On Friday I am going to the the end of the school year performance of the Arts Umbrella senior and junior dance companies at the Vancouver Playhouse with Lauren and Rebecca. I have expressly asked them to wear dresses. Rebecca was reluctant but she agreed. What joy!


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Raymond Lum, Eric Ambler - In Praise of Accuracy

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