Claudio Bertoni | Reincidente obsesivo

Bertoni bets by the unexpected and consolidates himself as the eternal apprentice in a permanent investigation. He adjoins with emergency and why not to say it, with the innocence of the photographer and the poet that without proposing it to, it displaces you.

As a trapeze artist that challenges to fail and fall without mesh that protects him. Claudio Bertoni errs, wanders, and roams with a bag of sea urchins and a bottle of pisco. He fights for a space between shoes that are not equals and are returned by the tide, wet sticks and various colored stones. All are like treasures that emerge to be found by him.

The feeble morning light gradually turns its beauties and the photographer dawns again against the same table with the same remains of dinner, tea time or lunch. Until get –simply- to a breakfast that never ends, because he is suspended on his camera, irrefutable proof that there is the tiny and unrestricted existence. That it tickles you when it wants and it turns your back or puts you on your knees. It’s the same; with Bertoni there is not difference between Playa la Boca, Charlie Parker or a skin so soft that you can perfectly cover a book with it.

Poetry is an angel born of many demons and Bertoni intuits it and goes collecting feather by feather to feel the sky. He creates trails of yellow or brown leaves like Hansel and Gretel, for not to get lost from himself. In a wild patchwork where -in the extent of what is possible- assembles the missing parts. Which the archaeologist collects piece by piece in an unworkable piecemeal job, among hundreds of books, cassettes, books and records that sound for instinct. Patti Labelle appears. He curls up in a Choapino that the urban cat was reluctant from the madding crowd.

He left the Philosophy, the music conservatory, the Tribu No, London, the “stay bread”, the Damish food, the Bagahavad Gita, the Algeria Sidi Brahim wine drunk in Saint Michel. He bought a travel ticket to Concón when he came back to Chile. Besides, Berta is not here anymore. Her mother emerged from the landscape as a pulled up flower of the family garden.

“… Thanks to God/ for me being here at home watching the news / and not at the hospital / with a tube / emerging from my arm / waiting for some Claudio Bertoni /to come and give me blood.”

It is known brittle, fickle and read the signs left by Gustavo Cerati: “Poetry is the only truth.” Certainty to determine at the Rodoviario, seeing a goal from the window of the bus, on a sheet of paper on the floor, in the bra that is hanging on the crossbar of a chair, in the insipid solitude morning, in a new multipurpose notebook. A rearview mirror that tracks obsessive the intimate correlation of those parted lips, in the uncorking wine, in the sublime act of seeing her naked on a red couch. Not seeing her as Helmut Newton, Ellen von Unwerth or Eric Kroll’s, but closer to Bettina Rheims and Garry Winogrand at the funerals of the day, where the daily delivery its last radiance. The light makes poetry and the sensibility of who see it and make of something simple a monument.

Desnudo en sofá rojo, 1984
Desnudo en sofá rojo, 1984

The elusive little fabric of beauty is so ungrateful that is obliged to wander for the streets declaiming: “For me the strongest things have been women and music. I can go down the street and if I see someone that moves me sincerely, I feel that I lose all the blood and I fall to the ground like a coat. ”

In that decayed condition claimed by Vazquez Montalban, Bertoni is bleeding, because woman doesn’t give life, she kills it. However, he assumes the risks, crouched behind his camera. In absolute withdrawal. Although many of them cross undaunted, lined in their impassable garments.

“Your/ underwear/ is my inner/ life” – he says.

Hojita cafés con resto de hahulla, 1977
Hojita cafés con resto de hahulla, 1977

He is not afraid of ridicule by collect, recover and accumulate the instants that the same hustle has been discarded. A stealthy compliment to discarded objects at the photographer ICU. Ephemeral sculptures where outside the aesthetic fundamentalism, raised a little basket on a punt and a modest fluffy triangle becomes the desired grove, where we all emerged from and he orbits almost the audacity of a child. Waiting absorbed the exact interval. Otherwise, nothing is the same or the opposite is the same and nothing justifies this contention by recording even the most meager.

Far from excessive posting, he refuges in the exact ingredients for a date with the sea. A Mariscal in sight, a couple of hallullas (kind of bread) and some wine.

The props needed to leave behind any glimmer of solemnity waits for him in his cabin. Negligible wherewith he receives. Desires and deliriums wherewith his insatiable lens don’t give up –obsessive persistent – disturbing insolent search for another new urban shrew – “there are women / so beautiful / that her body / barely support them.”

Either way or another the framing of loneliness catches him and he doesn’t know what to do with so many swinging of the hips of many beautiful Chilean, beautiful girls that challenge his always ready camera. He doesn’t overlook that inexcusable placebo which keeps him tied to this necessary respirator.

With personal treacherously holds the quality of mutating the sullen reality, even against all logic. A bunch of rags, twigs, leaves given by the autumn to him, a parched cobs or soiled quilt in which the panther slides on the structural framework of the parquet. They are the essential formula to skip the presumptuous virtuosity and solemn. Bertoni faces reality with his camera and a notebook. Whit these two element, he fights an antagonistic battle between the more explicit authenticity and mystery that hangs everything. With what he has on hand, he assembles his world away from refinement; the beloved of the day and an endless number of forgotten objects that shelters him and takes distance.



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