‘folded eggs’


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I dawdle around a street corner in Valparaíso, the old left-wing city where the 1973 Chilean coup d’état dreadfully erupted, to a street blanketed with neatly folded second-hand clothes under a hot morning sun.

“Valparaíso’s flea market where lengths of fabric — the same lengths each week, I suppose — are placed on the ground as you would lay a table, each neatly spread with used clothes for sale.”

Without deliberation, I pull out my camera and methodically make images of these used clothes, and sometimes objects, along every long row, one stall-on-the-ground after another, smiles returned, for a full three hours, meaning, elegance and eloquence, fieldwork as research, and only a restrained sense of other work where history was an element in my mind. I focus on aesthetics, an unmannerly lean across each tablecloth of clothes to do justice to their layout.

“I make images without mindful thought of politics, history or even memory. Only later, when I peer with purpose at these clothes, objects and panoramas, does the undoing of Salvador Allende gather in my mind.”

Two excerpts from ‘folded eggs’, my new artist book, a modest mediation on history and memory, images from Chile and a succinct essay across Allende and Pinochet to the New Zealand Wars.

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