Tonight I drove over to Matias Viegener's house in Silver Lake. Connie Samaras and Jeannie Simms arrived a few minutes after I did. Jeannie is in town from Boston, where she teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. The four of us went to a nearby pho house and shouted at one another over noodles and a shared rice crepe. It was very loud and hip in the pho house and communication was difficult. But we had fun. I taught Connie a closed-mouth smile that seems to be popular with many young women on Facebook. You pooch out your lips in a pout and then you crank up the corners of your mouth. So we were practicing that and then we all got out our iphones and started shooting pictures of one another.
Here's my favorite of the ones I took:
It was decided that the overhead bulb was too harsh, so Jeannie held her hand up to mute the light, and in the bottom left, that's Matias holding up a napkin to bounce fill light off of. Connie's shots of Jeannie and herself were tightly framed, and sweet.
Afterwards, walking to the car, we all photographed the window of the fetish shop down the street, which had a Houdini/magic act theme. A woman in a gold latex gown is levitated/held in midair by strings attached to bondage straps around her neck and ankles. The photo above, taken before dinner in daylight, registers the full effect. But at night, the lighting added drama and mystery, like we had stepped into a Hammer film, and when we turned our backs the mannequins would come to life, and if not get us, get somebody. I was burnt from lack of sleep and teaching all day, and it was such a treat to be able to step out of conversational mode and just play, to fart around doing iphone snapshots with real photographers who have shows, and in Connie's case, a forthcoming retrospective. My mother played with people a lot, and she never stopped doing that. I see her laughing so hard, she's bent over, gasping and sputtering.
On the way up the hill to Matias' house, one block was loaded with police cars stopped at erratic angles, and in the middle of the block we could see yellow tape cordoning off an area, and our carload decided the yellow tape meant there had been a murder. And the rest of the three or so blocks to Matias' house, we discussed how when you see ghastly car wrecks or other personal disasters that you're sure have resulted in death, you can google and google and you can never find reference to them, can never find out what happened.