Medio Kilo de Desmadre Mexicano Gallery
Oaxaca, Mexico 2017
® Giorgio Negro
It is definitely true that I cannot let go of Mexico. It is the only place in the world where it is normal to be hallucinated. That’s why I feel at ease here and I come back over and over again. Even though, at the end of the day, even half a kilo of magic mushrooms and liters of gasoline, slightly tasting like mescal, do not succeed in making me able to see what’s behind the masks these gentle and mysterious Indians wear to perpetuate traditions that, God’s willing, MacDonald will never be able to eradicate. But it is not important, I keep on wandering through this sweet and beautiful land, listening to the voice of those who left us forever and passed on to us this world in inheritance. To photograph that voice looks like an impossible task, and nevertheless, when I look at the images shot by my fellow traveller, I see that the miracle, magically, happens. Will I also be capable of creating that magic? I will have to wait a couple of months, until when my negatives, finally developed, will tell me whether I was deaf or not. But my fellow traveller, besides being fantastic photographers as well as peerless party goers, are also “very human” human beings. When I showed them the photos I shot during my many years of Latin American adventures, their supporting words almost moved me to tears. And that in spite of the fact that it was 10 o’clock in the morning and they had not had a single mescal yet…. The fact is, these wonderful friends, with their honest critics and suggestions, made me eventually understand that the book “is there” and that the “Time of the Soul” is about to come. Giorgio Negro
® Judith Tiburcio
It is difficult for me to put into words these fourteen days together, which exceeded my expectations in every way. I expected a great photography workshop with EB as it has been, but it ended up being a life experience that I will always treasure in my heart. I came in with fear to explore myself, afraid that no photos would come out. In the end, I realized that if I took photographs with enthusiasm and authenticity, allowing what my intuition wants to express, that is: to be me, accepting myself as I am and sharing it with my images.
Each and every one of the members of the group was a teacher for me, the universe acted perfectly among us. The perceptions that came to me from life and death while walking through other’s ancestors graves, ended up connecting me with my own ancestors and past loved ones, that made me enjoy each moment and to get connected with the best of each one and your love.
I can’t express in this writing my gratitude to Ernesto, for all of his teachings. You showed me the deepest ethos of my country, how to photograph it from my soul and feel a wonderful and magical energy in the Sierra Mazateca. Thanks for encouraging me and giving me the confidence to take photographs, and for taking me to different dimensions throughout the offerings and pantheons we visited.
Being a firm critic in the editing, but always with a sense of why we participate in our opinion; I am excited, motivated and very happy.
I remember Oaxaca 2002 and now Oaxaca 2017. Fifteen years of this wonderful friendship.
Mort, “American Beauty”, thank you for teaching me Photoshop, Canon, jpg, raw technology. With your example you taught me to continue courageously in difficult times, that there is no age to fall in love, to dance and to continue flirting until I turn red. I hope you will soon grant me the honor of dancing salsa.
Giorgio, thank you for encouraging me to take this workshop and put my passions before a little effort, I love being your friend and you have shared with me the photographs of your book “Tiempo de Amla”. Your arrival in Mexico and the Puebla-Oaxaca tour will be unforgettable.
Patty, you are a gift in my life. You emanate kindness and generosity, you are full of joy and enthusiasm that spread to everyone, your photographs also took away my hiccups and I loved your passionate way of dancing. I love you.
Monica, thank you for accompanying me in these dangerous curves towards Huautla. I loved talking with you on this long journey. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, photography tips and your wonderful photographs.
Juanito, how nice it is to be near you, Ernesto told me that you were going to help me to edit but after your NO NO NO, I did not run away. See you soon in Puebla de los Angeles.
Xan, you are a great man with many children inside, it was a real pleasure to share these long journeys with you, and your joy and passion for life are contagious. Thanks co-pilot, thank you for your music as part of the Mazatec scenario and for listening to my life stories, by the way, only the first two chapters. Thank you fellow “travel”, being with you was very healing. See you soon.
Lorenzo, you are a great photographer that combined with your sensitivity and sweetness you opened my heart with such strength and I hope you can come visit me, whenever I will hear Sigur Ros I will remember you as one of my children. Thank you for having so much patience and teaching me thousands of things and tips such as Bridge, Photoshop, how to file, how to save images and so on. All my love to you.
Lei, thank you for questioning me. Because of your questions and doubts I found answers, thank you for showing me your vulnerability, thank you for being honest, sensitive, thank you for listening to me with my emotional questions and for giving me accurate answers, thank you for helping me tame my ego, thanks for opening the doors of your heart and your dreams. Judith Tiburcio
® Lei Davis
I came to the Oaxaca workshop looking to photograph death – a topic that always has special significance to me, almost an obsession. I wanted to understand why there is death, why there is life, what is the purpose of my life and I thought an event like the Day of the Dead would be a great opportunity to observe and reflect about it. Throughout the workshop, we photographed a lot in cemeteries and that seems like a very depressing thing to do but the experience was exactly the opposite. It was beautiful to see how death is celebrated and how dead loved ones are welcomed back and cherished during this time – it was a celebration of life more than a mourning of death. My interest in photographing death also reflects where I am in my life – I am slowly dying inside and was trying to understand why. Experiencing this beautiful unique event and being with wonderful diverse people who loves life despite all helped me understand what life is all about.
For me, the workshop was more than a photographic experience; it was a life experience where I learned from Ernesto and each one of my classmates who I now consider as good friends. By knowing and being with them in the past two weeks, I learned not only about photography but how to see the positive side of things, to love and be yourself, to be understanding and accepting of each other, to be always grateful, and to just trust, let go and do it (whatever it is!).
Before and during this trip, I kept asking questions to myself, to my friends, to the Universe – what is death, what is life, what is the point of it all and the simple answer was just in front of me – to live and enjoy the present moment, which I have deeply realized and experienced in the workshop more than any time in my life. In many ways, I was looking for death in this workshop but it was nowhere to be found.
On the last day, I celebrated my birthday, looking forward to life. Lei Davis
® Lorenzo Zoppolato
I’ll be honest, sparing all the unnecessary details. Ernesto’s workshop put me into trouble and this is the best gift he could ever do to me. I had left confident but thanks to him I have come home full of doubts about photography, life and death. This is because the real growth goes through difficulties and sometimes through positive arguing.
I am usually extremely strict with this, and myself together with the weight of such an honorable scholarship, made me take this opportunity very seriously from the beginning, totally aware of the importance of the unique chance that had been given to me.
In the last years I have been investigating the relationship between mourning and people in different parts of the world all very distant from each other. This is not an ethnographic project but a personal journey inside reality that helps me evoke my imaginary.
Photographs are too often taken hoping that someone could like them, sometimes for a
competition that no one will remember of the year after, and this leads to the fastest way, rather than facing those difficulties “that will stay with you for a long time” to use Ernesto‘s words. In this way Ernesto’s workshop, together with the participation of students of a high level, has helped me significantly to face difficulties, aware of the fact that to grow up, you have to question the pillars you grew up with.
Moreover, Ernesto has helped me to understand that to become wiser you always have to keep your family and masters in your heart but at some point you have to find the courage to let them go, starting a new path of your own. There comes a time when the master must be killed (metaphorically speaking) and this is painful, extremely painful but necessary.
Am I talking about photography or life? Life and death are so close now that when I mention one of them I am actually referring to both and they all blurred together in this magic miracle that I call photography.
Thanks Ernesto for having taught me what is photography and to have set me free making me understand that I am not at all like you. Not better, not even worse.
Finally just myself. Lorenzo Zoppolato
® Monica Jimenez
Lei, Patty, Judith, Lorenzo, Juan, Giorgio, Morton, Xan and Ernesto… What a beautiful and inspiring group of people! Thank you all for the incredible good energy and amazing experience!
L’chaim! To life… Monica Jimenez
® Morton Lerman
Buenos Dias Amigos
I have never been with a group of such a talented, fun, warm and kind people than I was with all of you a few weeks ago. My wishes are to have our paths cross again. Soon.
Giorgio: Boozing with you was an experience. The best liquor I have ever tasted. That one night in the restaurant by the hotel, you nearly put me under the table. The last time I had so much liquor I was 19 and away at school and just as stupid.
Monica: I have to thank you for your talent in selecting some of my images. The morning we went to the foggy, wet cemetery, I was worried when you didn’t return on time. You really work hard at your photography. It shows.
Juan: You seemed so friendly, mild mannered and kind. Then you turned into a tiger on the dance floor with Patty. It was fun to watch. I wish I could do that.
Patty: I must thank you for all the caring you gave me and the continuous translations. I still have kind and warm feelings when I think of you.
Lorenzo: I really learned a lot from you and your Leica. Talent shows. I know your mother’s illness weighed heavy on you. Hoping for the best. I’m familiar with great losses.
Judith: Remembering you hands flying to cool your face when I said something off beat still makes me smile. It’s permanently stamped in my memory.
Lei: Thanks for speaking in a language I could understand. You will find that life is for living with joy much of the time, if you let it. You have choices about your life. Pick friends that are happy with life, dance with a lot of guys, eat good food, travel with people you like, work hard at work, it will give you great satisfaction and keep in touch with me. You’re a terrific woman, choose fun, choose joy and don’t question your life. Always remember you have choices, if one doesn’t work out, make another.
Xan: You were always fun. Yes, I will be entering the Olympics, only because you think I should. Find time to drop me a line about your printer, and if I can help, great.
Ernesto: I saved you for last because you taught me the most. I’ll get to photography, but even at my age you taught me to follow my passions and desires. I know you have taught this to your boys and are very proud of them. I hope the rest of our group also picked up on this.
What I learned:
1. Don’t let distracting objects fuck up the image.
2. Have an emotional feeling for what you’re shooting
3. Obviousness in an image isn’t very interesting.
4. Do not leave your glasses and phone in a taco dump.
As you Ernesto said, this workshop has gone way far from all my expectations too!
I want to thank with all my heart every one of you, each one has given me a specific growth in this important part of my life! Morton Lerman
® Patty Dada
Juan my dancing partner, one of the sweetest man I have ever known! Thank you so much for everything! You are so lovely!
Judith you are a great woman with a vital energy and a marvelous Mexican strength!
Thank you to show me this marvelous land!
Monica thank you so much to share with me so many things, and to show me this path that took me to this wonderful group of people! Big hug.
Lorenzo your talent and vulnerability on this earth will take you very far. I adore you!
Xan, words won’t do justice with you! You are great! Thank you for giving me the strength that you even didn’t know you were giving me! You are a unique human being.
Lei, my dear your multiple questions wave helped me answer my own: the ones I would have never even asked if it weren’t for you!
Thanks from the bottom of my heart!
Giorgio, I’ll be anxiously waiting the day that maybe I’ll see you again in this life or in the next one!
Continue to enjoy it with so much passion!
The happiness to know that I got you off the hiccup at least with one photograph will accompany me forever!
To you Mort, my dear and beloved friend a huge hug.
Thanks for giving me your strength and your marvelous curiosity for life! You’ve been a great inspiration for me!
And to you Ernesto, an absolute thanks for giving me this opportunity and for giving me the strength to see beyond. I hope to share with you again the sweetness of life!
I want all of you to know that I will be waiting to see you again in this life.
My house will be open for each one of you ALWAYS!!
Hugs and kisses
Love you all, and thanks for everything!
® Xan Quintana
Magic happens…sometimes…and this time it happened for sure!
Like a jigsaw puzzle, all the pieces came together as one. Full moon on magic mushrooms, Graciela Iturbide retrospective, fog, huhuentones, life and death…and all that in this mystic and surreal land…
It flowed, it certainly flowed very well, and i don’t believe in coincidences, I think all this was meant to happen somehow…
Photography was the link, and the excuse, but overall an extraordinary group of human beings gathered together around an exceptional master of ceremony. Although each of us were as different as it can be, all the members of the group resonated perfectly in each others moment of life, guided wisely by the sensibility, instinct and experience of the master Ernesto Bazan.
The learnings I received from this workshop were beyond photography, but, at the same time, they came through it. Ernesto showed us that is not only about how you see the world, it is more about getting to know yourself by how you see the world and therefore try to communicate that. I feel very fortunate to have met him and look forward to keep on learning from him…
I came away from Oaxaca with a sense of being on the right path, photographically speaking, but overall I came back from Oaxaca with nine new friends and a life experience…
From the endless energy of Mort, to the contagious joy for life of Patty, my trip companion Judith, the infinite questions of Lei Why, the talented deep heart of Lorenzo, the mastery of Giorgio, the generosity of Monica, the open wide heart of Juan, to the sensibility of Ernesto.
Thank you all guys ! You really made it happen ! Xan Quintana