Jan 20, 2009

the Intimacy of Strangers (3)

This lady has been living with me for ages. In the eighties in Berlin, one filmmaker-apprentice was earning some money touching up prints in a photo lab that worked for the Bauhaus museum. Some prints that he liked but were too bad to work on (not that you would notice it), he brought home. This one I fell in love with, so much I asked for it. Her steady gaze has been following me ever since, over changes of homes and countries. Time passes, she's immune. She was a mature lady then, she's now something of a child. She's part of my life. I had forgotten her name. If asked, I'd answer she was a textile artist of secondary importance at the Weimarer school. Two days ago, I stumbled on her in the Internet. I stood still, actually shocked, like seeing your half-naked sibling's pic on a dating site.
Marianne Brandt. That's her name. (Which I could have remembered, since the first boy who kissed me was thus called, Brandt. It happened by the fountain at the train station, an awful -if puzzling- disillusion. Which might be the reason.) She was a successful designer, and this is a self portrait. I read this and saw what I hadn't seen in some 25 years: the release mechanism in her left hand. And then I found the following: the whole picture. No idea when it was cut, and who did it. Public privacy. One way to exorcise it.

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