Rato, Tesoura, Pistola – Pedro Guimarães, with Nuno and Emma-Sofie Engstrøm Guimarães

Spread from “Rato Tesoura Pistola” © Pedro Guimarães

Lovely project, and I also found lots to think about in this reference to an Italo Calvino story:

In Italo Calvino’s short story The Adventure of a Photographer, written in 1983, the protagonist Antonino Paraggi embarks on a solitary, philosophical journey into what is described as the “madness” of photography. Wryly observing the photographic obsessions of his friends from a distance, he pinpoints parenthood as the germ of their incurable folly. “One of the first instincts of parents, after they have brought a child into the world, is to photograph it.” For Antonino, this impulse is driven by a desire to arrest time as their children grow and change at an unruly speed; the aim being to reduce them to the “immobility of black-and-white” and preserve them in the safe space of the family album. He sees this as an impossible and dishonest task, one that can only lead to either living photogenically or spending your life chaotically photographing anything and everything. Why photograph your child building a sandcastle and not their tears when the perfect creation falls?

Sophie Wright, LensCulture

Certainly there is a desire to arrest time, and also to present our lives to tell a particular story. This can be driven by the desire to build a photogenic identity (as a glamorous person; successful in one’s career; a loving parent; a creative type, etc.) or by thoughtlessly falling into cliche or default modes (the family in front of the Eiffel Tower; the child building the sandcastle; the raised champagne glasses). Though I don’t believe these traps are set only for the new parent.

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