There is a place that is the same in all cities despite small and sometimes radical differences. The identical white tomb stones in military formation contrast with the old stones in Prague´s Jewish cemetery that seem to crowd in organic disorder. In Genoa, the romantic splendor of death sensualizes the ultimate place of silence and sorrow. Buy in spite of these superficial disparities, all cementeries are one and the same.
The funerary statuary in vogue among the bourgeoisie nearly two hundred years ago coincided with the invention of the photographic camera in 1839. Its technological genesis in darkness and light could be a metaphor pointing to the nature of photography as essentially a funeray art: every photograph is a reminder of our disappearance—it always mourns the viewer. Transparency and concealment are the elements of an irresoluble conflict at the heart of photography: a remote present that travels backwards and forward. Opaque and yet transparent, it confronts us both with what we know and what we don´t know.
One of the first uses of photography was to replace the facial molds taken from the deceased on their deathbeads. Using the lost-wax process, a positive image was made in the form of a mask, "le dernier portrait". Later, the photographic portrait rapidly took the place of this mask and funerary sculptures, but not without first inspiring surreal merges: a widow cushioning in her stone palm an enameled photograph. Her gaze locked in sorrow on her husband´s image, while his is fixed on the photographer´s lens: a future representation of his past and a permanent image of his future. The elegiac nature of photography finds in Marbletown the appropriate time and place. It is "in situ".
This photographic series, Marbletown, had an abandonned beguining in the 60´s in Paris. After I took a few photographs in the Cimitiere Pere Lachaise, I felt I was not ready for it. Forty years later, the window of an hotel in Buenos Aires with a view of Cementerio La Recoleta gave me a chance to reconsider the subject.