“And if he let off dreaming about you…” Lewis Carrol
In the short story Circular Ruins by Borges, a man resolves to create another man through a dream and provides him with reality. As his wish comes true, after sleepless nights, he is terrified to realize he himself is just a projection, he too is just somebody else’s dream.
Looking for a handyman to make repairs to my mobile home destroyed by Hurricane Odile in 2014, I found in a trash container of a used mobile home realtor business, six boxes containing about eight thousand slides, made by Kodachrome film. Unfortunately, days before the other half was burned. In the short story Circular Ruins it is the fire that incites the dreamt man, but also the fire is the only one who knows that the dreamt man is not real…
The file is an American family’s album taken during the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. It was obsessively organized including numbers, places, and names, not only on each 36 slide box but around the plastic of every slide.
The identity was confirmed and revealed by Kodak with the return address for their clients to receive their photos. I googled this information and it appeared the obituary of the one photographer and some newspapers clips from Texas, where apparently, the oldest son of the family was detained and accused of sexual abuse to minors. They were San Diego’s residents. I was able to locate, via social network, some relatives of the family and I tried to reach to them more than four times, leaving messages telling them about my findings and the rescued album. To this day, they haven’t answered my phone calls.
The secrets that the fire was not able to destroy, revealed a family tragedy and simulates a symbiosis between characters in a world of dreams, where the dreamt dream dreams progressively and form links of a circular chain, and I, just maybe, am not real, I am just a dream of a photographer, who dreams photographers. As a fan and follower of analogous photography for more than 30 years, I use this extensive file to build and edit, based on fiction, an ‘author’ to my image.
Nevertheless, seven months after my findings, one more event is added to these random vertiginous events while researching and editing this creative process of this family album and my connection to it. A fan and follower of this project has identified and notified me that one of the pictures I uploaded to my Facebook in the short story Circular Ruins has been published in a book he bought online about the summary of the artistic life of the acclaimed multi-instrumentalist of progressive rock, Steven Wilson.
The photography was selected for the cover of the album “Opera Wild” with the soundtrack No-man, written by the English singer in 2010, the book is titled “INDEX” was edited in collaboration with the writer, photographer, and filmmaker, Lasse Hoile; and designer Carl Glover, who worked for the production of this musician for more than 15 years. In the review of the edition, the designer, Carl Glover talks about his interest in finding slides to use in his designs, he is the director of a production company titled “El Aleph”.
According to Borges, El Aleph is the only spot in the universe where all actions and times (past, present, and future) are in the same spot. El Aleph is everywhere and there is no circumference. It has no memory, it has no past, it has no purpose, it has no future; Aleph is a symbol for the unthinkable. One sleepless night I read the short story a few times and “I saw a broken labyrinth (it was London), then, I made a connection between this image written by Borges delighted in “El Aleph” and by the dawn, another hair-raising revelation came to me, the place where Carlos Argentino Daneri hides El Aleph, is the basement on Garay Street. My bedroom and studio are in the basement, where this file sits.
By Angelica Escoto