CALLE, ALCATRACES, TINA AND MEXICO: 1927

Posted on January 13, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

Even if they are without rhizome and soil, this Calle’s pair is a still life that lives. They have a soul. The two tall and sinuous stalks approach and then diverge, culminating with the fine flower of calla from the characteristic flute shape. It’s turned towards those who want to quench their thirst. For its elegant and sensual lines is a mirror image of the woman who has photographed them: Tina Modotti. Tied hair and slender body, desired, free, independent, carnal, throbbing with life. Italian, from Udine, emigrated to San Francisco, then to Los Angeles, Mexico, Germany, France, Russia. She was an actress, model, muse, political activist, the first to wear blue jeans in Mexico City. Primarily, her personality has very much left its mark as a photographer. Favorite pupil of Edward Weston, she made it soon with her camera (a Korona later replaced by a lighter Graflex) to create her own photography style. A photography imbued with essentiality, humanity, sensuality, depth and feeling. The contradiction layed just on the name. Calle. The word in italian clashes with the original word in Spanish. In Mexico they are called Alcatraces. These flowers look like seabirds, “sule” in Italian, which give its name to the former San Francisco penitentiary: Alcatraz. A rigid and gloomy place, from which it was almost impossible to escape and be free…