Manuelita. Saut Mathurin, Haiti. March, 2007

Manuelita. Saut Mathurin, Haiti. 10:09 AM, March 19, 2007

Manuelita, along with her siblings Samuel, Minoosh and Malli, lived next door to my host family and their cousin, Kenson (see the next post). They followed me everywhere, and were fascinated by the Hasselblad camera. And when I pulled out an extension tube, allowing the focus distance to be so close that the lens almost touched their faces, well, this was magic!! The delight and look of wonder as each took turns posing and looking through the viewfinder rejuvinated me – photography is magical!

The two portraits, here and in the following post of Manuelita and Kenson, became part of another body of work, ‘Looking At God‘, that attempted to break down the boundaries in one of the most familiar and oft carried out of communications – looking at a face, and being looked at by another. Perhaps these are the same boundaries that eluded the scrutiny of the Enlightenment and all of its subsequent contortions in trying to make rational sense of existence. Boundaries that prescribed thought and the rational mind, and in doing so, would always remain magical. Just like photography.

Just like that swirling feeling when one stares and is stared at, a gaze that slides out of time.

Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm Planar lens, Fuji P400 film