Time Remembered: My 5 Loves for August
Looking back always stirs nostalgia. Several years ago in August, I was at a market looking around when I came across a beautiful cameo, Leda and the Swan. My haggling skills are lacking so I ended up walking away from the vintage pendant. Sometimes I regret it, but was it worth the €350? This month my five obsessions are from the past.
1. Photographer Pep Bonet is the author of several books and his work can be seen in exhibitions around the world. Bonet’s photography often focuses on marginalised groups, transgender individuals in Brazil, the AIDS epidemic in third world countries, and sex workers. He captures the utter despair and isolation that his subjects feel, looking at his work will make you feel something, whether it’s disappointment at the overall state of our world or hope for their future; there will be an emotion. See the world through Bonet’s eyes here.
2. Federico Garcia Lorca, the Spanish playwright and poet, is best known for Blood Wedding. The play has seen a resurgence in playhouses around the United States, but it’s often performed in major cities. I first saw Blood Wedding in Madrid, relying solely on my Spanish skills to follow the plot made seeing it again necessary, this time in England. It’s a tragic play set in rural Andalusia. The moon is a symbol in most of Lorca’s poetry and this play is no different; but for Lorca, the moon represents death.
3. Pedro Almodóvar. From the moment I saw Talk to Her, I’ve been drawn to Almodóvar’s films. His films feature women in prominent roles. His latest film, Silencio, began shooting in May and is expected to released sometime in 2016. The details are scarce but Almodóvar’s films always possess thought-provoking themes. So check out Volver, Broken Embraces, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, The Flower of my Secret and his other films then watch Silenco in 2016.
4. Antoni Tàpies. I first saw his paintings in the Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid) and was taken with the three-dimensional background as well as the depth. His paintings were initially influenced by the Surrealist period; one of his early paintings, Parafaragamus is a spectacular symbol of the Surrealist movement. Tàpies was one of Spain’s greatest painters.
5. Leda and the Swan. Try as I might, I can’t forget the cameo pendant in that Madrid market. Sylvia Plath evokes the myth in her radio play, Three Women:
I remember a white, cold wing
And the great swan, with its terrible look,
Coming at me, like a castle, from the top of the river.
There is a snake in swans.
Maybe the seller could see that I was searching for Plath and how much capturing a piece of her would mean to me, or he simply saw a tourist and the price reflected it. I’m still looking for Plath’s Leda.