Thursday, November 30, 2006

Teeny weeny marks.

Several loyal blog readers have been sending e-mails to inquire about the fate of Mimi, the American lady so violently attacked by the Mexican dog Gorba a few days ago.
Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski paid a courtesy visit to Mimi and found her in good health. Only two teeny weeny red marks on her leg remind us of the teeth of Gorba. And it was no big issue for her. Thankfully she accepted the present: the latest book of William Boyd called “Restless”. And she gallantly offered the visitor a glass of water. Her husband Doug, in real estate and having a nursery, is fishing on the same beach as Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski and they had many experiences to share. Doug asked if he likes to drink wine and invited him to come by next week to share a bottle when Mimi has returned to the USA.

Meanwhile Gorba is still chained to a tree but every day he gets delicious dog food and fresh water. It breaks the part in the heart of Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski reserved for dogs and other cute animals like penguins and testlaboratory-monkeys, to see and hear Gorba cry when he passes by and doesn’t touch him or unchain him to come along. Gorba makes these dramatic noises like it is the end of the world for him and maybe it is. Who can look into the emotional constitution of a dog? To make it worse, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski learned from his own blog yesterday that helping Gorba in his suffering is not helping at all but turning himself into a Florence Nightingale.
Although it has always been his dream to be a stewardess he expects the Gonzales family not to take it lightly if he suddenly appears at the family dining table as an English nurse.

This afternoon Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski was sitting next to his Lazy Daze motor home reading his book: “The rise and fall of the Third Reich: a history of Nazi Germany” by William L. Shirer.
He looked up when he saw a herd of goats passing the dry riverbed to climb the hill next to where he has established his camp.
He looked how the sunlight played on the animals and showed the dust whirling behind them. He realized that this particular herd had no dog with them. Often, the Gonzales put a puppy dog to a herd of goats. The dog grows up with the goats and lives exclusively on goat milk: he sucks the milk from the goats when he is hungry as his only food. The dog has to protect the goats for vicious attacks by coyotes and this works. But they are the strangest dogs in the world: never touched by a human and probably believing they are a goat themselves.
The goats without a dog climbed the hill and Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski read in his fascinating book how Nietzsche inspired the Nazi’s by claiming that: “There is no such thing as the right to live, the right to work, or the right to be happy: in this respect man is no different from the meanest worm” when screaming goats and barking dogs begged for his attention.
On the hill he could see the herd of goats in total disarray and Gorba assisted by the other dog of Alfredo, separating a goat from the herd to kill it. The other dog was more childish jumping up and down but Gorba was at the throat of the screaming goat. Biting and biting to draw blood.
Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski instantly jumped from his chair, yelled at the dogs and ran like lightning as if it was already the Olympic Games of Beijing to save the life of the goat.
The dogs could not care less of that human being shouting things like “ijo de puta” and running threatingly towards them. They were in frenzy. Out of their minds. Degenerated into a state of ultimate primitivism and barbarity. How Nietzsche would have liked to witness this.
While running, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski grabbed in one fluent movement, a stick from the ground and having come close to the scene of the cruel crime Gorba, seeing the stick, understood he was in a rather unpleasant situation and gave up his murderous hobby to run for cover under the motor home.
It was puzzling how the dog had managed to have the chain come loose from the tree. And once he was free, he immediately got involved in the activity that had made him a chained dog to begin with.
It was easy to get Gorba from underneath the motor home: the long chain lay to grab in the sand next to it.
Like a boxer who cannot stand still after a fight, Gorba came from underneath the motor home shaking and shivering and breathing heavily.
To punish the dog made no sense. He was just following his instincts.
“Man shall be trained for war and woman for the procreation of the warrior. All else is folly”. Nietzsche again.
It was back to the tree for Gorba and this time the chain was better secured.
Damned dog.
And the goat survived with just twenty teeny weeny marks at his troat.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Helping is not helping

Osho, an enlightened person who continues to inspire Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski fruitfully, was a remarkable man in many ways. Although he never wrote a book, there are hundreds of books by him. These are transcriptions of talks he has been giving. Also his autobiography has been published which is a compilation of parts of his lectures where he has been speaking of his personal life.
(“Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic”, St. Martin’s Press, New York. ISBN 0-312-25457-1)
In this autobiography he tells a revealing story. He had a grandfather to who he was very attached. On a walk, when Osho was still a young child, his grandfather offered Osho to hold his hand. “Why”, asked Osho his grandfather, “do you want to hold my hand?” “It is to help you in case you fall. Stumble over a stone. Loose your balance. I can hold you so you will not hurt yourself ”, replied the kind grandfather.
“Please don’t hold my hand, grandfather”, said Osho. “Just let me fall down when I have to fall down. In this way I will learn to avoid falling down. If you hold my hand I will never learn to stay on my feet.”
This anecdote from Osho’s life is of course a metaphor and one, which goes very deep and far.

It makes people feel so good and self-satisfied when they help another person. But is in fact the benefit not for the person who helps only? To achieve the Good Samaritan feeling? And superiority?
Because helping another person is in many cases not helping at all and only satisfying the own desire for feeling good and better and upper-dog.
First of all, helping stops another person from learning. One needs to have specific experiences in life to eventually discover not to make them anymore. To help another person in a way that no specific experiences are had anymore, the person will not learn what was important to learn.
Secondly, to help persons and stopping them to have the necessary experiences in life, takes the person out of his/her karma. Stops the karma of being effective. And that is a grave thing to do.
It might make the person who helps feel great, but the one being helped pays the high price of loosing the reason for existence and not progressing.
Thirdly, it is extremely pretentious to believe that what works for you, works for others as well. That is a demonstration of self-centredness and disrespect for the other. Often helping has in reality as a purpose to boost the believe in the own formula of life.

In human relations it is a more advanced attitude to stand next to a person and be supportive without interfering, like Osho suggested to his grandfather. To let go of the own ego wishing to be satisfied by playing Mother Teresa. To simply BE there for the person and this in a non-judgemental and non-imperious way while the person goes through the specific experience.
This is not easy; especially in case there is love and affection between the protagonists.
It requires an inner balance, a harmony, humanism and an evaporated ego.
In psychotherapy this has been recognised by the psychologist Carl Rogers and his Humanistic Personality Theory. He developed this theory and based upon a psychotherapy where the psychotherapist doesn’t make any interpretations nor offers any explanations nor solutions. The therapist becomes a fellow traveller on the road where the person meets his or her specific experiences. Sharing but remaining neutral. Confirming the process of having specific experiences but leaving the person completely free, while making the person feel comfortable and confident. This to allow the person to practise freely his or her, what Carl Rogers calls “actualizing tendency”. Which are modern words for karma.

People who offer help should think twice and deep before to jump into action, and preferably study Osho and Rogers first.
They should self-analyse before anything why they want to offer help.
Which is very hard to do for them because when someone believes he/she can help, has the solution for another persons problems, this blinds.
The ego is in the driving seat and doesn’t want to abandon the occasion to be satisfied.
They also should face the question why they believe another person needs help.
Are the problems they imagine the other person to have not just their own projections?
Don’t they see problems in other people simply to fulfil their own desire for satisfaction through helping?

There can never be justification for the pretension to think one can help.
It is a dangerous illusion to believe to be free of problems oneself as bases for interfering into someone else’s life.

Osho’s grandfather was not only a wise man, but also able to set his ego aside. He understood that stopping Osho from having the experiences he needed in life was an ugly form of self-love. By being next to Osho and simply share, they both became beautiful people.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

This tiger is roaming in the jungle.

What Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski believes is that an artist must be in a position of a tiger roaming freely in the jungle. That is a choice an artist could make. However, to make work is one thing. To have it go to the attention of the audience, the artist needs the distribution system. And that, fervent blogreaders, is a circus. The curators, art-dealers and critics are like tamers. Like animal trainers. They try to have the tigers do their tricks. The tigers that are good following-up the instructions and who don’t bite the tamers, are allowed in the cage and do their tricks in front of the audience.
Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski is not a circus tiger at all. He despises animal cruelty, which is what tigers doing tricks in the circus is about. And the audience should realise that there is no beauty seeing in a cage a tiger doing a stunt taught by an animal trainer, but that the beauty can be found in observing respectfully the tiger in the wild.
Having this point of view, it automatically creates a problem in the relationship between the tiger in the jungle and the circus people.
The circus people have the key in their hands to reach the audience.
The freely roaming tiger needs to give sense to his existence as an artist by presenting the audience the results of his creative activities.
Mr. Tiger wants to stay away from the circus while he needs the key holders.
This issue plays strongly when roaming in the jungle.
Why roam if Mr. Tiger as a result might end up in the cage of the circus?

There is one very good solution to this dilemma.
If an artist makes excellent work, he or she did the best possible.
That by itself is a great achievement.
Justifying existence.
Next, the circus people are presented the results and whether they like it or not, whether it fits in the repertoire of tricks and stunts of what they imagine the tiger should have, doesn’t matter.
It is of no importance because it is in the end irrelevant.
Many animal trainers are very mediocre and often even incompetent.
The audience is to pity for having to see what they present.
The spiral going upwards an artist should be in, should never include any thought about the circus.
How could the tiger roam in the jungle successfully when paralysed thinking of the tamers?

Monday, November 27, 2006

The tiger in the jungle and the tiger in the cage.

It is easy to make pictures. You just take a camera in your hands. Point it somewhere. Push the button. Picture made. If your father was in front of the camera, you now have a portrait of him to remember him always, as he was that moment. That picture has therefore a purpose. It serves. It has a reason for existing. Now and for the future. However, the importance of that image is for the father’s relatives only. And when they have passed away, the picture becomes obscure and without purpose anymore.
A photographer like Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski is very intrigued by this phenomenon. The relevance of the images he makes. If he doesn’t feel that the image he makes serves a purpose, he is unable to proceed and actually shoot pictures. When he started his career, he loved so much to make pictures that he would photograph indiscriminately anything he was surprised by. In his vast archive are hundreds of pictures, maybe even thousands, made out of enthusiasm without further relevance.
But over the years his attitude has changed. Now the images he makes must be able to function in the different fields in which he presents his work.
The protocol has become that enthusiasm to make at a certain moment a picture is immediately followed by the thought what purpose that image might have. If no positive answer comes, the effort is not made. If it is believed the picture will find almost certainly an audience, the effort is made.
For stock photography, images that are sold through a stock agency to newspapers and magazines, this approach works very well.
For the photo projects, like “The most beautiful people in the world”, also.
But for the conceptual photography it is not a good protocol at all.
Because conceptual photography is experimental. Pioneering in photography. Getting into the unknown. Looking in the dark for some light. Whether the results find an audience should not be relevant. If that is tolerated as a factor, it stops the experiment. The tiger in the jungle or the tiger in the cage.
So, the courageous photographer needs to find motivation somewhere else. And should be able to let go and detach from expectations and predictions.
This summer, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski, managed to have another breakthrough in his conceptual photography. The PS-series. Liberating himself from expectations, protocols, and dogmas and getting out of the cage, he made a whole new series of images.
He brought the new images to Paris to show them first to his art-dealer Baudoin Lebon. When Baudoin Lebon was seeing the new work, it could be noticed he was smiling. Which is exceptional and a sign the work was touching him. On the spot Baudoin Lebon called his frame-maker and ordered one of the images from the PS-series to be framed to show at the important fair Paris Photo.
More people saw the new work and were all pleasantly surprised and impressed.
The work made with no particularly destiny in mind found its destiny nevertheless and this is how it goes with art-photography contrary to more applied photography like stock photography.
Now, back in Mexico, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski faces again the fact that he could continue working on his PS-series. He knows that if he did, great images will result again. And he realizes that it all depends of his mind-set. Dealing with his fears. His uncertainty. His courage. His inner balance. If he can get those all right, he will be able to make new work again.
That moment has not come yet. And it is unpredictable he will manage.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Back to the chain.

Originally it was planned to have a 5.000 word piece published today on this blog about the “archaeology of patriotism in photography” where it not that a serious incident took place this morning.
At 5.30 am Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski awoke while the first glimpses of light announced a new beautiful day in Mexico.
He quickly dressed while he realised he had been dreaming again of his Princess.
He put on his cap, cuddled Gorba, grabbed his fishing pole and headed for the beach.
The night before he had a successful fishing expedition catching 3 roosterfish. These days a lot of sardines are feeding in front of this coast, the pelicans are diving like crazy swallowing the small fish and big predator fish join the party. It is those predators Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski is after. Over the years he has learned how to catch fish and if they are there, he gets them. Often biggies of 5 to 7 kilo approximately. They serve to feed his friends, the Gonzales family, who are most happy to see their diet enriched by fresh fish.
Gorba loves to be company on these fishing expeditions and waits patiently on the beach for results. Because when a fish is caught and placed on the beach, Gorba is fascinated and gets extremely excited to see a fish jump up and down and die.
This morning fishing while the sun was rising from the Sea of Cortez, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski saw a woman walking his way. He interrupted his activity to greet the lady thinking he might know her. It was Mimi, an American lady who with her husband has recently acquired a holiday house in the resort not far from the Gonzales rancho. They made acquaintance and while chatting, suddenly, out of the blue, like a flash, Gorba bit the lady in her leg.
She screamed while Gorba retreated immediately to lay down nearby in his “I feel very guilty”-mode.
What an embarrassing situation.
Fortunately, no blood was coming from Mimi’s leg and she remained cool and composed while receiving the apologies and concerns of the unfortunate dog supervisor. But she was shocked nevertheless. She told that the other Americans living in the resort were afraid to come near the Gonzales-rancho because of the dogs.
And this is true: if they come by on their ATV’s (four wheel motors), Gorba, followed by the other dogs, runs after the Americans pretending to attack.
Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski realized that now he could not trust Gorba anymore. Whenever he would be on the beach again, to make his daily walk or to fish, Gorba would be a liability. Possibly causing serious trouble again. But also Gorba would make people afraid who simply would like to be on the beach.
Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski realized there was only one solution. Gorba, killing goats and attacking people, had to go back to the chain. He continues to get fresh water and delicious dog food, but he lost his freedom.
This afternoon Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski will go and visit Mimi. To see how she is doing. And to bring her as a present a book.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Liberated twice !!!

About 6 years ago, when Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski came for another winter to Punta Boca del Salado and his friends the Gonzales, he noticed a puppy chained to a tree. Looking not very happy and an empty food bowl in front of him. This poor dog was condemned to a life chained for guarding the rancho. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski went for a chat with Alfredo Gonzales. To figure out what was the thinking behind this concept. And to see how flexible this concept might be. The dog was called Gorba and eventually Alfredo was convinced that for guarding a rancho it would be even more effective to have a dog roaming free on the premises. The strategy of stretching a concept by offering positive options had worked. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski obtained permission to free Gorba. This, the dog has never forgotten. Whenever his liberator returns from travelling and meets him again, the loyal and thankful animal gets out of his mind of joy and happiness. He decides to live with the man who freed him for the time he is around who honours that by offering him twice a day a bowl of delicious dog food as well as fresh water. When Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski is living at Punta Boca del Salado, Gorba believes he is in a five star hotel.
This time Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski returned to the rancho of the Gonzales family to find Gorba chained to a tree again. Miserable and skinny. Unhappy and sad. Lucretia Gonzales explained that Gorba had picked up the habit to occasionally attack the goats they have and bite one of them to death. And once a dog gets this habit, it can’t be stopped. They have tasted blood, and blood they want to taste. The other dogs of the rancho were getting inspired by Gorba and followed him on his occasional goat-killing spree. Goats are important to a rancho family. They represent money. When they need cash, they sell a goat. Each goat dying is money lost. In normal circumstances Gorba would be taken into the mountains and shot. To be left as a delicacy for the coyotes. This time they decided to chain him to the tree again. Unfortunately for Gorba, Alfredo has a new girlfriend where he spends most of his time away from the rancho. Leaving Gorba to be taking care of by Ismael who hardly has time for this. For days Gorba had no food. For weeks he had no freedom. Until he saw his friend returning from far away. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski has never seen a dog so happy. But Gorba is a killer now. He developed an incurable double personality. However, after new rounds of negotiations Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski obtained again the privilege from the Gonzales to liberate Gorba. When he is with you, he will behave, they claimed. Gorba was freed and danced around like a young cow for the first time again in the meadow. Running this way and that way. Jumping and jolting. How unique to see joy expressed so freely. After Gorba had calmed down, he was called to have a serious conversation. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski believes in talking to animals. In fact, to children as well. In a serious and adult-like way when necessary. Gorba was told to stop this nonsense of going after the goats. That he would get enough food and water to be satisfied and that he should abandon his freaky hobbies or it would be back to the chain. As of then, Gorba behaves very well. He stays near Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski’s motor home and any stranger approaching too close receives a concert of barking. Gorba accompanies him on his post-siësta walks along the sea although he prefers to sleep in the shadow that time of day. But when from the nearby mountains the little bells ring of a herd of goats grazing, Gorba lifts his head.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Fear for the empty which is full

Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski has now arrived at the South tip of the peninsula called Baja California in Mexico. A location called Punta Boca del Salado. Next to the Sea of Cortez he is living with his friends, the Gonzales family. He is sandwiched between one of the most beautiful seas in the world and a traditional Mexican cattle farm. He lives now in a motorhome which is equipped with a solar powered internet connection transmitting by satellite. This is a rather idyllic place. Peaceful. Relaxed. Surrounded by long time friends and in wonderful warm weather. It is the ideal place to contemplate, to focus, to centre, to meditate, to live healthy, to do sports, to do yoga, to work and to organise.
But right now he has one worry and one issue.
Because it might be boring to report about how happy and ideal life is at Punta Boca del Salado, the worry and the issue request to be presented in this blog.

The issue is that Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski is very surprised to notice recently that after waking up in the morning, he has a strong memory of dreams. He hardly dreams ever. Or, he hardly ever remembers his dreams. But recently, already twice, he wakes up and is knocked off his feet by the dreams he had. Dreams which are deep. Intense. Realistic. Emotional. Strong. Surprising. Disturbing. Wonderful. He knows, because he read a book on psychology a long time ago, that dreams are the voice of the subconscious. What does not find a way out during the day in the conscious, comes out as dreams in the night. And he knows that a dream is about either a fear or a desire. Now he learns that an issue turns out to be living deep in his consciousness, or in his heart, he was not aware of that it was that serious.
The dreams are always about his Princess currently in India. That surprises him enormously. She had impressed Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski already enormously. But until the dreams, he was not aware she had made such a deep impact on him. He is forced to think now that he is serious about what he feels about her. Concluding that the dreams are not about desire but about fear. Fear to be vulnerable due to the delicate feelings he turns out to have for her. Or are they about desire and not fear ? Desire to be with her and share life and work ? Now he wonders if he has to have a dialogue with himself, like Stan Laurer and Oliver Hardy, saying: "That is a nice mess you got me into !".
Major issue therefor.

The worry.
Lately, as of yesterday, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski worries that this blog has arrived in a dead end street. Until recently he found ammunition everyday to shoot another message into blog's territory. Because he travels all the time, and because probably of his kharma, amazing things happen every day offering generously the subjects to write about. But now he has arrived in a place where he will stay for the coming weeks. Just a beach, the sea and a Mexican family out in nowhere. He expects no exciting things to happen like he has experienced over the last weeks. He worries what he could be writing about. Explaining in detail how nothing happened ? How to be ironic, his favored approach to the absurd thing called life, when the sun rises and goes down with, as the major event, the wind blowing ?
But now he realises, that this worry, he can handle. He could remember exciting events from the past and find excuses in the daily reality to write about them. Or he could make up exciting events happening with the cows and horses of the Gonzales farm. Use fiction as a weapon to continue to spell. Or focus on the trivial events happening here and by using language masterly turn them into world events. There are ways out of his worry, he realises, but what about those dreams ?
The issue of the dreams turns out to be a serious worry, while the worry of the blog is just a simple issue.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Already in the Boeing Jumbo airplane loading passengers at Schiphol Airport in Holland, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski was feeling like in Mexico. Most of the travellers were male Mexicans happy to go home. In very good mood, joyful, content. Embracing and touching each other. Mexican people are very warm and physical and have no reservations in social contact. They are natural, uncomplicated and open and this is what Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski enjoys. He had a reserved seat next to the window, for a view and to have at least one calm side, when he noticed that next to him was a mother with a child while the father had a seat on the other side of the aisle. Having been a boy scout, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski offered his window seat to the family so they all could sit together. This they refused politely. But after 15 minutes they changed their mind and asked if the offer was still valid. With some hesitation now Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski moved to a less favourable aisle seat where the father had been sitting, thinking that a family being able to be together is more important. But soon he found out that the next person to the former father-seat suffered of a bad breath and probably this was the reason the family had changed their mind. Not simply a bad breath but a bad breath equivalent to a constant stream of fart-air. As long as the young man looked straight ahead, the deadly air stream hardly reached the fellow passengers, but when he turned his head to the right, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski had to hold his breath, put his finger under his nose and focus on trying to breath under an angle of 90 degrees. Later, after he arranged some snacks and drinks from the friendly Dutch stewardesses to offer them generously to the young man with the fart-breath, taking in this diplomatic way the sharp edges off his deadly oral gases, he learned it was actually a very friendly person. He had finished his business administration studies and had spent some weeks swinging in gay Paris and Amsterdam. Soon he came to tell he had no more parents. He had never known his father and his mother had died of cancer 6 years ago. Now, at 22 years old, he felt alone not being in touch with any of his family. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski suggested he should start looking for his father and inspired the young man to start this project soon.
The atmosphere in the plane was absolutely great and the stewardesses had a hard time supplying all those Mexican amigos with the beer, cognac and wine they needed to drink the miles away. Until Misses van der Kamp, “I am your head purser”, briefed everybody by PA that drinking was not allowed when coming from bottles carried on board by the passengers themselves. Obviously, Misses van der Kamp saw that things could get out of hand in her Jumbo with this wild bunch of Mexicanos and wisely applied a prevention strategy.
About to over fly American airspace, next, the pilot tested his authority. There are regulations coming from the American Government that airplanes over flying the USA are not allowed to have more than 3 people standing in the aisles and near the doors. These hilarious instructions we received from the pilot: we were not to get out of our seats when there were more than 3 persons already standing, even in front of the often urgently needed bathrooms while being above the United States.
It was pleasing to see that nobody in the plane, including the pilot and the stewardesses, gave a fuck for this idiotic regulation. It seemed that everybody expressed the opinion: get the hell out of Iraq instead, so you don’t have to make yourself ridiculous with these kinds of paranoia prescriptions. So, in spite of Homeland Security Regulations, there were small parties of happy Mexicans stretching their legs everywhere and the crew just went their own way. There is a limit to absurdity, everybody seemed to conclude. Officially and legally the pilot has to instruct his passengers but to enforce the rule seemed wisely not to be included in the activities of the friendly stewardesses.
There was a rather long stopover in Mexico City where attacks of sleep were suffered to board eventually a Brazilian made small jet plane, the 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145, for the last 2-hour stretch to La Paz.
When arrived in La Paz and waiting for the luggage it became clear that the arrival hall was filled with over a thousand people all shouting, singing and screaming.
Now, let’s remember, it was arranged that a person would pick up Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski, not a thousand, and he started to wonder if there had not been a misunderstanding. Or some practical joke being played. Or this success and popularity he has been anticipating for so long finally happening.
He got his luggage, was not checked by customs, the doors to the arrival hall opened and he walked into a wall of super enthusiastic people, hailing him, greeting him, cheering him. Tears came to his eyes. What a welcome back to Mexico ! He had suffered this serious hesitation of coming. Of believing it was maybe better to stay in Europe to await the return of the Princess from India. This complex dilemma had shaked and shocked his heart like a major earthquake. But now, in the arrival hall of the small airport of La Paz, a thousand people giving him their love and welcome for coming to Mexico !
Until he noticed there were banners and it was not his name on it.
Until he noticed they were screaming slogans not including his name.
Later it was explained to him, by this ONE PERSON who came to meet him, that on his plane had been the politician Lopez Obrador, who recently had lost the Mexican Presidential elections but made himself a shadow President. The thousand screaming people were excited supporters of Senor Obrador testing their skills on the passengers who came out before him.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Love and hate in Holland.

Life is a funny thing once in a while. But it seems in case of Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski his life understands he needs fuel for his blog and offers its funny things daily.
Today it was hate and love.
Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski had a wonderful lunch with his friend Wendy Danser, a talented poet, in a popular restaurant in Amsterdam called Wildschut. He returned later that afternoon to a small town near Amsterdam where he is staying. From the railway station it is a half an hour to walk to the home of his friends. The first part is over a wide road exclusively reserved for cyclists and pedestrians. Peacefully he was walking on this road when suddenly, halfway, he was pushed by a man coming from behind to the centre of the road. Seeing the man next to him, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski impulsively responded by pushing the man into the side of the road. Using the motto: "You push me, I push you". Or, like Mr. Bush: "If you are not against me, you are for me" (if we remember Mr. Bush correctly which is no easy task). Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski was in fact surprised about his impulsive reaction. Maybe it came more from the surprise that someone for no good reason was doing this physical and semi-violent thing to him. The man, about 50 years old, looking well dressed and an intellectual, wanted as a follow up to his attack and Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski's adequate response, beat him with his umbrella. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski has seen many of Mohammed Ali's fights and immediately took a position like it was a Rumble in the Jungle. That scared off the man so much that he refrained using his umbrella and he exclaimed instead: "You were walking in front of my feet". That was a rather puzzling statement. If you walk faster as another person and the road is wide enough, how about passing politely on one of the sides. Why having to push a person out of the way ? Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski, realizing that a fight might land him either in a hospital or in jail while his plane would leave to Mexico the next morning, asked the man: "Is the road not wide enough for you, you idiot ?" Maybe because of this remark or the Ali shuffle he looked like he could perform, the man decided to retreat in an ignoring mode and the hilarious situation arose that both were walking side by side for some distance. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski still feels embarassed and some shame that he felt an energy arise in him to suddenly plant his fist in the face of the man and then violently another one until pulp would cover his glasses . Hate heating up while he thought for some years he was a man full of love.
He comes home to his long time and great Russian friend Mandira who tells him: "Don't you realize the man pushing you had reasons to do so without it had anything to do with you ? He might have had a conflict with his boss that afternoon. He might suffer of erection failure. He might have had an argument with his wife the night before. You just took it personal while you could have had it pass like a whiffle of the wind".
What a wise woman Mandira is.

Next, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski climbed behind his MacBook Pro to check if there were any screams coming out of scyberspace. His secret e-mail adress, where he had been expecting a message from the Princess of India for weeks, was flashing: a message had arrived. Would she finally had found time to write him or was it a sneaky stock-alert he is plagued by ?
His finger zigzagged out of control on the control pad, being emotional, and the arrow went everywhere except on the icon to open the message. But eventually, remembering how he had recently been so bravely dealing with a thief of his taxi in Paris and his superb personification of Mohammed Ali that very afternoon, he managed eventually to wipe clean the touch pad of the accumulated sweat and open the message.
And yes, and yes, no irony is here to be applied, it was a long and beautiful and warm message from her.
Hate and love, yin and yang, all in one day.

Monday, November 20, 2006


What is wrong with most Hollywood films ? Last night Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski saw together with two good friends by chance a film called "Sweet November". Made by Pat O'Connor with Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves. The basic lines of the story of the film could be maybe interesting. A woman has a terminal form of cancer and tries to have every month a relationship with a different man before to die. Until, of course, she falls truly in love with the guy from November and he with her not knowing she has terminal cancer. What Hollywood does is first of all taking care the film is entertaining. Not disturbing, not provoking, not irritating, not challenging and not shocking. Not too extreme, not too dramatic, not too serious, not too painful and not too emotional. The film could be interesting but the Hollywood formula apllied makes the film uninteresting. It could be emotional but Hollywood makes it sentimental. It could be dramatic but Hollywood makes it melodramatic. It could be fascinating but Hollywood makes it boring.
Besides all this the characters in the film are and live in a most unrealistic way. They live in a beautiful town in beautiful houses and have beautiful cars and seem to have an endless supply of money and don't really need to go to work and are in great harmony with friends and neighbours while it is always sunny and it only rains at extreme sentimental moments. The sex is always great and without condoms in always clean sheets with the curtains open and never a neighbour peeping inside. The characters always have beautiful white teeth which they never need to brush (to avoid they can't dialogue), they always have nice clothes, they always know how to say things, to articulate well. Their nails are always well manicured and the ears cleaned.
In other words: they are totally unreal people living in a totally unreal world living a totally unreal story and this we call Hollywood.
We know that this raping of reality by Hollywood has one reason only: to make money. Without any scruples or moral standards or concern for the psychological well-being or the mental health of the audience.
This attitude to want to make money no matter what was an issue during a lecture Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski gave on November 6 to over 150 students at the KABK: the Royal Art School in The Hague, Holland. He propagated there that in the first place a creative artist must produce from the heart and that the material aspect was also important but always secondary. And that working from the heart could result in great results which would then possibly generate money. At one point a discussion arose with one of the teachers of this school, a photographer called Serge Ligtenberg, who proudly explained he had acquired an assignment giving him a good income for years to come working for a real-estate company. What he had to photograph was not important to him, it was the money what interested him. Money no matter what. The 150 students were confronted with two different visions and the choice is how someone wants to approach life. Is it important to achieve material welfare first followed possibly by emotional welfare or emotional welfare first followed by possibly material welfare ?
This is a crucial difference with not only huge consequences for the individual person, but for the society as a whole as well.
People en masse going after material welfare first, create a society in which materialism, consumism, egoism and unbalance with nature dominate.
It is to this attitude in life, material welfare first, that films from Hollywood like "Sweet November" relate. In that sense they are ways to indoctrinate the audience with a philosophy of consumerism. It is no surprise that when last year negotiations were to open between South Korea and the United States to have a free trade agreement that the Bush administration had as a condition before even to start the talks, that a law in South Korea limiting the presentation of Hollywood films would be cancelled. When the South Korean people heard about this pre-condition of the Bush Administration mass demonstrations took place in the streets of Seoul. They understood that Hollywood films are not only for superficial entertainment and enrich Hollywood people but that they are also vehicles to massage people into consumerism and materialism. Into showing a false world, pretending that it can be achieved by making material welfare the first priority.
People even lightly conscious of life and the world, are not interested to see Hollywood films as only to write about them critically in a blog.
And a teacher like Serge Ligtenberg trying to indoctrinate 150 young students, our hope for the future, into becoming Hollywood-photographers, should be fired today.


This morning after finishing several local bussiness phone-calls, time to go to the Gare du Nord, one of the Paris train stations, to catch the high-speed train from Paris to Amsterdam. A taxi appears in front of the appartment building where Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski has been staying, and the doors of the taxi open automatically with the help of electrical engines. The driver comes out too: a huge guy who could easily make a career in the World Wrestling Federation. But then something shocking. He speaks with a voice of a 6 year old boy. Are we supposed to ignore this, accept this or start laughing ? Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski has no problem to pretend that a 6 year old voice in a hulk of a man is his daily cup of tea but avoids to have an extensive conversation with the driver during the long ride out of fear to eventually die of laughter. He wonders about taxi-driver's wife and how she handles this 8th world wonder. At Gare du Nord are automatic train-ticket supplying machines. Passengers reserve and buy their tickets on Internet and collect them from the machines in the train hall. It is suprising to become aware that this is a fantastic system but that it doesn't work with non-French credit cards. International travellers with non-French credit cards like Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski have to go and stand in line for over half an hour to obtain a train ticket. After a last Paris sashimi lunch he settles comfortably in the luxurious seat of the Thalys high speed train which brings him in 4 hours and 10 minutes to Amsterdam. After finishing the Herald Tribune he is reading the biography of Osho but looses his interest in this book by every mile. He doesn't like to start to read a book and later to abandon it unfinished. This always gives him an unsatisfied feeling but sometimes there is no other way. Fortunately he has in his lugguage the latest book of Willam Boyd who is one of his most favourite writers.

Train arriving in the Netherlands suffers right away of another train who magically managed to screw itself into a bunch of containers blocking as a result the important track to the East of Holland creating delays and huge crowds pressing themselves into trains like it was the Tokyo subway. And it is raining and cold and dark. Too many depressed people and raindrops and Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski protects his mood by thinking intensively of his coming evacuation to Mexico.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday in Paris

For this morning it was scheduled to go to the Institut Néerlandais in Paris. This is the cultural centre of the Netherlands promoting Dutch culture. At 11.00 o'clock was a conference about how to be successfull as a photographer in Paris. The two persons responsible for this conference, Pim Milo and Edie Peters, had invited three Dutch photographers to come and tell about their experiences. Also a curator of the Institut Néerlandais, Marieke Wiegel, specialised in photography, would speak. Last week Pim Milo explained that they had been contemplating to invite Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski to speak a this conference as well. In the end, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski promotes his work successfully in Paris as of 1971. Knowing the ins and outs inside out. But in the end the organisers of the conference decided to invite only photographers who permanently live in Paris and Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski doesn't live permanently anywhere. However, later it turned out that of the 4 photographers invited to speak at the conference, 3 were not permanently living in Paris at all. And only one, a fashion photographer, living permanently in Paris, had been making it on his own. The other photographers, all women, had been more or less operating in Paris financed by subsidies of the Dutch Government. This whole situation made Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski not feel comfortable to go to this conference. Besides getting irritated by what would probably be a demonstration of moderate abilities and vision, the fact not to have been invited made a desire to go vanish.
He also wondered why he would go there to have to possibly explain to Dutch people disturbing the market with subsidy-backed privileged women how to be successfull in Paris.
In any case, early Sunday morning a phone-call came with a request to help out a friend having a problem with a German gallery. After only one cup of Assam-tea Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski subwayed to Paris Photo and for three hours was involved in a complicated situation difficult to find a solution.
The last evening in Paris, tomorrow is departure to Amsterdam, Holland, was dinner with the American photographer Mark Lyon, the French photographer Laura Brunnellière and the by many blogreaders beloved psycho-analyst Brigitte Bataille. In the famous Brasserie Wepler at Place Clichy: a traditional, typical Parisien restaurant where one pays for a meal the amount representing buying food in a supermarket during one week. However, eating there with good friends, in that kind of special ambiance, having allure and being high class, was as wonderful as the dozens of oysters they started with and to end the dessert: a generous helping of chocolate mousse with nuts.

Doing the Paris Photo shuffle

Saturday was another crazy Paris Photo day with intensive networking. Meeting people and discussing possible future collaboration. In Baudoin Lebon's Gallery was a viewing of Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski's work arranged for friend and collector Aline L-G. Followed by a Tibetan tea in the nearby Starbuck's Café. Aline has recently discovered her interest in spirituality and received from Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski books with lectures of Krishnamurti and Osho. For a person unfamiliar with these texts they come as a shock. Therefore, over Tibetan tea and a chocolate chip cookie it was explained that the texts were not dogma's. That they only serve to provoke and inspire because everything we spiritually need to know is already inside us. It only needs to be woken up. Osho is very good for this when a person discover's that Osho's controversies are his or her own confusions. But Aline had some very good things to say as well to calm down Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski's ongoing unrest because of the situation in India.

There was also a meeting later that day with the founder and owner of the "Nature et Découverte"-chain of shops, Francois Lemarchand. He told the story of a man in France who was very uggly. But one day he met a woman who told him he was very beautiful. She repeated this to the man many times until he came to believe it. And once he believed he was beautiful, he didn't look uggly anymore. Of course Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski knows from his project "The most beautiful people in the world", see , that this is how it works. It is what you believe it is. In the 80's Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski has been doing a project on this issue. He found in the Netherlands two girls of the same age: 21. The difference was that one girl believed she was beautiful and the other one believed she was uggly. He followed with his camera each girl for some weeks and published the results next to eachother. One of the conclusions was that each person can make life beautiful or not beautiful. For example, the girl believing not to be beautiful would go and eat alone in a miserable McDonald's restaurant eating a hamburger and drinking a cola making her fat, unhappy and full of acne. The other girl would save money and then go with her pretty boyfriend to a decent restaurant and eat healthy food by candlelight.

At about 20.00 hours Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski met Angelica Cuevas Portilla. A beautiful Mexican woman with who he has been working on his project "The most beautiful people in the world" in Barcelona, Spain and in France. They are very close friends. The plan was to go for dinner and this together with Helena Prado, a Mexican film-editor and camerawoman. Leaving Paris Photo, Angelica Cuevas Portilla and Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski, standing on a long escalator, suddenly noticed that in front of them was Karl Lagerfeld and his toasttanned boyfriend. "Be careful not to fall now in the ass of Karl Lagerfeld", Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski warned loudly Angelica Cuevas Portilla and they could see Karl Lagerfeld's head turn slightly towards them.
Near Place Monge in Paris is Angelica Cuevas Portilla and Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski's favorite Japanese restaurant and they had a quiet table in a corner. Angelica and Helena have about the same age as the Princess in India and they were able to explain more in detail how they operate in life. This is very different from the way it used to be. Nowadays, young, clever, brilliant and ambitious young people have an agenda and a list of priorities. This is essential and the most important and any other activity in life is secondary. In fact this is also how Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski organises his life. Most important is his growing process and the expression of the results through photography and everything else is secondary. Angelica and Helena therefore made clear that expectations towards a brilliant and beautiful and ambitious woman should not reach the sky but not go higher than a low ceiling.
This made sense to Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski and he was overwhelmed by a sudden feeling of having seen the light and being back in a better balance between Paris and New Delhi. He was in fact so enthousiastic suddenly that he didn't notice that with his chopsticks it was not a piece of raw fish he was picking up, but the large ball of wasabe. The hot green pepper paste to be used very moderately. Once wasabe arrived in his mouth, he realised what had happened and he quickly tried to mastermind how to get out of this awful situation. Spit it out on his plate in front of these gorgeous Mexican ladies ? Run to the bathroom and vomit it out into the bowl ?
But he managed, experienced Japanese food consumer as he is, to hold his concentration, take his glass of water and wash it into his stomach. A funny burning feeling descending brought tears to his eyes and Angelica and Helena unjustifiably believed that once more the distance to India had made him break down.
The conversation in the restaurant went on till far after midnight. Angelica went back to her appartment while Helena and Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski went to look for a taxi. It was about 2 o'clock at night, cold and raining. The taxi stand at Place Monge had two abandoned taxi's and 20 people waiting. When it was the turn of Helena and Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski a young man ran quickly to the taxi to try to get in and steal it away. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski, who is a good runner and doesn't appreciate these kinds of jokes, ran also to the taxi and told the driver that the young man was not exactly the next one in line. An argument developed with the young man but backed by the taxi driver Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski told him to fuck off and to be a man in these matters. Paris could see Helena looking in appreciation how she was saved by a brave man but didn't invite him to come dancing with her in the discotheque she was going to. That privilege was already given away to some Austrian motherfucker and Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski went home alone.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Paris and love

This afternoon was the meeting with Quentin Bajac, the curator of photography of the Centre Pompidou. Because this is a public log, it is not wise to report on this meeting. Anyhow, the results of the meeting will become known in due time.
By now this weblog gets about 80 visitors a day. And readers respond, by adding a comment or by sending Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski an e-mail ( Of course, responds are very welcomed. One of the loyal readers was mailing an intriguing comment, after Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski revealed he suffers emotionally because the person he wish to be with decided to go to India.
Loyal reader G.L. wrote:
"It is my feeling, that the only person who is really important to love you, is you yourself. No matter how close we may get to another person, are we not yet alone with ourselves?"
This is a very philosophical approach and obviously it had thoughts centrifuge in Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski's mind in between his appointments and conversations today. It is an unfamiliar concept to Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski to see yourself as the most important person loving you. For him, this is close to narcissism. Looking to one's image in the mirror and being stunned and absorbed by one's beauty. Because nobody else is involved it is the ultimate subjectivity. In Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski's concept love is something to give to others. Not to keep to oneself. As is explained in the Kabbalah: " You are not to own, but to have". "Own" is forever yours, "have" is temporary. If you do GIVE love, love will come back and it is this returned love, from others, which confirms one's reason for existence. The love coming to us from others is of a higher level than the love someone manages to produce for him or herself. It is social love versus selfish love. My love or our love. It is more easy, simple and convenient to love oneself. It doesn't involve anybody else and of course the self-loving person agrees with and enjoys the generated love. But to love other persons requires a lot of skill to drop one's ego, abandoning selfishness and opening up to others. That is no easy descend on the slope life seems to be.
The second part of the statement:
"No matter how close we may get to another person, are we not yet alone with ourselves?"
Isn't it all about how we decide to perceive things ? Why would we like to think we are alone even when in a relationship with another person ? Isn't that creating a philosophy self-furfilling ? Isn't that a fundamental negative approach to life excluding any harmony between two persons ?
An Oriental wisdom is the yin yang concept. Nothing is only black nor white. Black is black because white is white. They depend of eachother. In a relationship it is not that we are alone with ourselves permanently. Sometimes we may be, often we aren't,
but this only when we are able not to look in the mirror to see ourselves all the time.
In Milos Forman film "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" Jack Nicholson organises gambling sessions. One is about being able to lift a washing basin from its pedestal in the communal bathroom. He bets he can do it but is unsuccessfull. Although he looses the bet, he explains: "At least I tried".
That is an essential line applicable to life in general. Or you do nothing and you have nothing, or you try and you have at least the experience of trying.
Wanting to be with someone is making yourself vulnerable. It is trying. And that by itself is a life-experience enriching.
Alert moviegoers know what happened next in "One flew over the cuckoo's nest". Nicholson is operated on his brains and becomes a zombie. His friend, a huge Indian, gets so upset about this that he walks to the bathroom, lifts the basin from its pedestal and uses it to throw it through the bars of the window giving him the freedom he wants, needs and deserves. Nicholson's courage to at least try, eventually results in Indian friend obtaining freedom.
Feelings of missing someone, longing for someone, dreaming of someone is irrational and maybe stupid and senseless.
But it is living life as optimal as possible with all its delicate, exciting, disappointing and wonderful and painful aspects while seeing Narcissus in the mirror is an experience of seeing Narcissus in the mirror of seeing Narcissus in the mirror of seeing Narcissus in the mirror of seeing Narcissus in the mirror... Never to feel Marta away in India.
This morning, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski was informed, that during the night, he had been screaming.

Paris Photo Party

Last night art-dealer Baudoin Lebon had invited a selected group of people to come to his appartment for "une quiche, du fromage et des fruits". His appartment is large and decorated by fine examples of modern and aboriginal art. There is one 20-meter long corridor with a collection of spears and masks from Africa. About 20 people were there and it is an excellent opportunity to get to know new persons in the world of art and photography. Often people know eachother by name but have never met. And often this socializing results in immediate appointments for bussiness the next day.
Although such a party serves certain bussiness interests, the hospitality and generosity of Baudoin Lebon and his wife Marion always impresses Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski. They manage to create a family feeling. Becoming a pivotal force of warm togetherness in a bussiness which is hard and ruthless.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Paris Photo loves Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski but who loves him ?

On Thursday November 16, 2006, it is raining in Paris but fortunately not cold.
Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski went to his gallery to dispose of his portfolio "PS series" he so successfully carried into the sophisticated Schindler elevators of the Le Monde building.
In Baudoin Lebon's Gallery, a second home to him being a nomad, he met the German artist Matthias Schäfer. He knows Matthias for some years and likes him for this positive energy he radiates. Matthias is a good guy in the jungle of the arts. Check
Being freed of the ballast of his own creative production, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski proceeded to the Carroussel du Louvre where Paris Photo is taking place. He whistles when passing through entrance control because assistant art-dealer Caroline Bouchard of Galerie Baudoin Lebon has supplied him with a badge making him an artist sitting in Paris Photo bussiness class. They wave him through like a star.
Why did he go straight to the booth of his Gallery ?
To dispose of his bag and coat.
Joel-Peter Witkin was hanging out in front of Baudoin Lebon's booth. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski got into a conversation with him again, being fellows through Baudoin Lebon. But as well-known to true Europeans, like many successfull Americans, Joel-Peter Witkin is a totally one way street. He only lives to hear himself talk, thinking it is important what he has to say. Like Bush saying, who is not in favour of me is against me. Soon, conclusion is that Mr. Witkin is pretentious and has not much interesting things to say as only self-glorifying statements. At one point, Mr Witkin, Joël for Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski, says with a loud voice : "I haven't been masturbating for several years".
Time for Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski to start making his walk among the booths of mostly uninteresting photography but meetiong friends and foes.
Caroline of Galerie Baudoin Lebon called him back and informed him there was an important message.
The curator of photography of the Centre Pompidou wants to see him tomorrow because of the new work he has made.
Pretending to be professional, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski accepts the note where and when to meet Mr. Quentin Bajac of Centre Pompidou tomorrow, but in fact he realizes that now his disappointment and sadness, seriously bothering him, because of the person being in India while he wished she would be on his side, has more or less magically dissolved.
Forced again to philosophize, he asks himself what in the end is more important. To create more new work and have this presented to a large audience or to be concerned about a beautiful and most impressing woman running away to India ?
It is now and ever.
Now is the miracle she is, currently in India.
Ever are the images from the PS-series, for all of us for ever and ever.

Paris Photo opening night

Wednesday night, November 15, 2006, opened the important photography event Paris Photo. In the Carroussel du Louvre which is somewhere underneath the Mona Lisa.
Huge spaces filled with booths where galleries from around the world show their merchandise. In fact, it is a very confusing event because most galleries show a selection of what they have and the poor spectator in the end is confronted with thousands of images of hundreds of photographers without a theme or subject. It is like being bombarded with images making the mind dull. There is a maximum a human being can visually absorb and Paris Photo has the ambition to find out how far it can stretch this. At the same time, Paris Photo is very popular. Thousands of people come. Either by invitation or by paying 15 Euros. Surround thousands of images on temporary walls by thousands of people and a sane person would call this a madhouse.
However, before we call the men in white, we must understand that Paris Photo is not about seeing images per se like it was a serious exhibition. Especially opening night has as a purpose to meet people. To make new contacts if possible. To open new bussiness-lines. To see friends again. And to admire the girls because maybe they hope to be discovered by a photographer to get into a successfull modeling career, the most stunning girls Paris has in stock, show up at Paris Photo.
It was not for this reason that Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski was not looking at the thousands of pictures of Paris Photo. He is just not very interested to see the work of other photographers. Most of the time it is not interesting and pollutes the eyes and consciousness. When it is interesting, he gets seriously jealous and in a very bad mood.
What he in fact does is looking at the people who visit in the thousands Paris Photo and he is trying to imagine why they came. Who they are. If they are really a couple. If their tan is from their healthclub solar imitator or straight from Tahiti. Those imaginations, which can be really absurd and weird depending of the persons observed, are in fact images much more interesting than the thousands on the temporary walls.
Because Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski is in this bussiness of photography for over 36 years and well-established in Paris having had his first exhibition in this beautiful town in 1972, he meets at an event like Paris Photo many people he knows. Some he likes to see again. Some not. And some come to him while he has no clue who they are. He needs to apply the strategy of being friendly and having the conversation going to find somewhere, somehow the key to remember who the person is, in the shortest time possible. This is a very dangerous process because not everyone in the bussiness deserves friendliness. While others do not deserve an attitude of being reserved.
It is basically an enjoyable experience to walk around at an event like Paris Photo observing the visitors and meeting people who are friends.
But Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski had beneath this joy a serious and disrupting feeling of sadness and disappointment. It had been planned he would have been at Paris Photo with a friend who he believes is one of the most remarkable persons he has met in many years. He longs to be in her company but she cancelled the Paris trip to go to India. Now he feels how wonderful it would have been to have had the experience of Paris Photo together and he needs to find now a way to regain his inner balance.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A third floor in Paris

Schindler has put a sophisticated elevator system in the Le Monde building. You push on a central control panel the number of the floor you wish to go to and next, on a small digital screen, the letter of one of the elevators is announced. The problem is that on the doors of each elevator the letter is painted in a huge, almost abstract way. The screen told Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski to take elevator C and next a desperate and nerve wrecking search followed to find the corresponding letter. This may sound overreacting to modernity but getting into an elevator with the wrong letter might take the innocent and amateuristic visitor for example straight to Le Monde's boardroom where embarassement would strike deep facing Le Monde's important persons with Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski's irrelevant although interesting pictures.
The third floor is where the magazine is produced. Humans making a magazine, seems to happen by having them sit behind desks. It is the imagemakers who go out into the real world. Therefore Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski, in the field a lot, is always rather puzzled what all those people behind their desks are actually doing. They all have computers in front of them, with pictures on the sides of the monitor showing what might be their children, their lovers or their pets. And all desks are full of papers and documents. It is a very strange situation. Michel Phillipot, being important, is having an office of his own, although it has one wall made of glass from where he can see the desks of the others and they can see him. It is total chaos in his office. Everywhere papers and books.
"Bonjour !" says Phillipot, " I had wanted to call your gallery to cancel this appointment because in fact I have no time to see you"
As a photographer this is a treatment often experienced. If the photographer lets his emotions and thinking get out of control, he will feel and think he is being denegrated, scummed, pissed upon.
A professional photographer though remains polite, although never forgets. And takes a position of authority by counting on, that in spite of Phillipot's imagined or not tight schedule, photographer is not going to be send away without showing the new work.
But at the same time the photographer realizes that even before having taken the images from the portfolio, the reception-mode of the editor is in negative territory, having therefore hardly a chance to make a successfull deal.
Phillipot looks at the images and says: " Ca c'est plustot interessant ". To later add that this is his personal opinion. But that he believes that the images are too difficult for his readers. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski of course immediately starts philosophizing about this remark. Le Monde is the newspaper of the most intelligent people in France who seem not to be able, according to Phillipot, to understand the pictures of Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski made on a beach in Mexico. This puts the photographer on a dizzying high level of intellectualism. Above that of the French intelligentsia. At the same time, on that skyhigh level, it already feels rather lonely there, like having lost touch with humanity, and market, because in heaven no magazines are published.
After some polite remarks an elevator puts Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski back into the huge hall. He is not thinking so much anymore of organising a party there as came to his mind when entering the building. His mood has of course drastically changed. But he does, we must say on purpose, pass close Miss Reception (on the phone again) for a last drowning in her green eyes.

Le Monde in Paris

Today was a gorgeous day in Paris. Sunshine. Warm. Like a Spring day. At 16.00 h. was the appointment with Michel Phillipot, responsible for Le Monde2, the magazine published on Saturday together with the Le Monde newspaper. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski knows Phillipot and his magazine very well because earlier this year they published his project "The most beautiful people in the world". The building of Le Monde is along Boulevard Auguste Blanqui in the 7th Arrondissement. A breathtaking building with a glass facade on which text. Is it pompous ? No. Is it bombastic ? Also not. Is it therefore a demonstration of a higher form of architecture ? Yes, maybe, time must decide for the Japanese architect.
It is not that easy to enter the building though. The entrance door is hidden in a corner and for security reasons initial reception is worse than at an American airport. A small glass door electronically locked and possibly opened and a bored security guard observing critically the visitor before pushing a button unlocking the gate. Next, an x-ray machine through which hand-lugguage passes and a X-ray-gate through which the visitor stumbles.
Alarm ! Alarm! When Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski passed the gate the alarm went off but the security guard didn't think it would be reason for body checking. He had a book in front of him: he was more eager to continue to read.
The hall of the Le Monde building is rather strange. It is huge but there is nothing in it nor does it serve any purpose. Before to go to reception Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski looked meditatively at this space. Was this designed for the last party in the world ? At the end of the hall were large windows where huge mirrors were placed showing the blue sky and the clouds travelling in it. What was this about ? To get lost ? An escape hatch ? For photographers coming to show their work and changing their minds for fear of being rejected by Le Monde jumping into those mirrors escaping into the endless sky for meeting the glory of angles embracing so lovingly ?
On the side in the Le Monde hall of fame is the reception where a most beautiful woman handles anyone who has managed to get through security but this in a most charming way although she seems to be on the phone permanently with her today boyfriend.
Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski announced himself politely looking deep into those green receptionist-eyes and after green-eyed princess called Michel Phillipot, she sweetened him to go immediately to the third floor.
Tomorrow, as a cliffhanger, the report what happened on the third floor in the Le Monde building.

Recovering in Paris

Last night the discussion about psycho-analysis with the psycho-analytica Brigitte Bataille went on for some hours while drinking a glass of Chinon and eating shrimps. It was a very revealing conversation. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski was informed that psycho-analysis is the same as meditation. That in many sessions of psycho-analysis not one word is spoken. And that psycho-analysis is not about analysing the psyche at all. And that persons who are in psycho-analysis for 20 or 30 years are simply resisting to the method. It was a very revealing discussion confirming the opinion that psycho-analysis is charlatanry.

Ms. Bukowska has kindly given permission to have us see the result of her photographic assignement !
Her image, answering the assignment "Make a picture of the tree", is on
Meanwhile Ms. Bukowska has received her next assignment.
Which is: "Me we".
Just two words for her to create an image.

Today are two major events.
In the afternoon Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski will see Michel Phillipot, the editor in chief of Le Monde2, the magazine the newspaper Le Monde publishes on Saturday.
He will show the most recent work, the "PS-series" to see if that could be published in Mr. Phillipot's beautiful and important magazine.
It is very difficult to get an appointment in Paris with people like Mr. Phillipot. They are extremely busy and working very hard not easily giving rendez-vous away. But Baudoin Lebon, who represents the work of Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski is very good friends with Michel Phillipot and one phone call of Baudoin Lebon arranged the appointment.

This evening is the opening of "Paris Photo" in the Carroussel du Louvre. There will be a lot of people. Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski is not very fond of going to this kind of mass-events. But it is a good opportuntiy to meet people and to see how they respond to his new work on show in the exhibitionspace of Baudoin Lebon.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

a busy day in Paris

Today, November 14, in Paris, France, a busy day with appointments, telephone calls to make, e-mails to send and to reply and MSN dialogues to make.

In the Galerie Baudoin Lebon today, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski met the photo-artist Joel-Peter Witkin. He is also represented by Baudoin Lebon and they know eachother. It is always a rather awkward situation. Joel-Peter Witkin and Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski are both artists with passion and determination but at the same time very market focused. In fact, they both cover the same market with the same sales-person, Baudoin Lebon. One of the reasons Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski is very fond of Baudoin Lebon is that he knows to keep a balance and harmony in his approach to the artists he represents.
Check out

Lunch and the afternoon was with the American painter Richard Harper. Mr. Harper lives with his wife Karen Papacek, an artist as well, and their daughter Hannah, on a farm in the boondocks of the Normandy region of France.
Richard Harper is an extraordinary painter who is highly respected by Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski.
Of course they were having lunch in a Japanese restaurant eating healthy and nutritious food.
Updating on family and private life and discussing the actual situation in the art-world.
Richard Harper was on his way from Geneva, Switzerland, back to his farm in Normandy, France.
His Gallery in California, USA, arranges for him assignments: clients who love his work and wish to be portrayed by him.
Richard Harper is a hyper-realist, he paints people, often nude women, in such a realistic way the human eye is unable to see in reality. He is beyond what is popular or trendy.

Another major event today was receiving an image from Magdalena Bukowska.
Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski communicates with a large number of people by Internet and often the reason is photography but always as a mean for illustrating and initiating an inner growing process.
Over the last weeks Magdalena Bukowska has been accepting assignments of Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski and has been sending the results.
Often very difficult assignments because they are focused to initiate and stimulate finding a connection with the inner-self.
The last assignment was: "Make a picture of the tree". Remark, it is not about "a" tree, but about "THE" tree.
Today Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski received the image Magdalena Bukowska made inspired by this assigment.
It is absolutely stunning and readers of this blog are invited to request seeing this result to ask Ms. Bukowska permission to publish it accessible for the Internet community.

Tonight is dinner with the psycho-analyst Brigitte Bataille in an appartment on the 15th floor overlooking Paris in front of a majestic Eiffel Tower.
Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski is not only inspired by Osho, see, but also by Plato and his teachings of pragmatism.
In 1973 Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski travelled to the Cyclades Islands in Greece, worked there for many months on his conceptual photography while studying Plato.
As of then he practises pragmatism which is rather opposed to Freudian psycho-analysis which Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski considers charlatanism, promising an inspiring dinner with Ms. Bataille which means, maybe Freudianly: FIGHT !!!!

Paris Photo, November 14, 2006

In Paris, in the world of photography, is excitement. This week opens Paris Photo and already it is the "Mois de la Photo". Not only are there many exhibitions with photography all over town, but many people from all over the world come to Paris to meet, to show new work, to see new work, to do bussiness. It all becomes suddenly very intense like a prairiefire.

Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski came to Paris with a new series he calls the "PS-series". Images made on the computer based on pictures made this Summer on the deserted beach in Baja California, Mexico.
Brand-new and surprising work which is rather vital if a photographer wants to continue to be successfull.

First person to see the new work in Paris, on Monday November 13, was the publisher Robert Delpire who is involved in Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski's project "The most beautiful people in the world". Delpire Editions will publish the photobook of this project in Autumn 2007.
He loved the new images of the "PS-series".

Later that day was an appointment with art-dealer Baudoin Lebon. Baudoin Lebon is having one of the more important art-galleries in Paris and is the exclusive representative of the work of Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski.
Baudoin Lebon is an amazing person. Living and working at an incredible speed. He quickly saw the new images, picked up the phone and ordered his frame-maker to come right away. To frame one of the images of the "PS-series" to include it in his Paris Photo-show. So, suddenly, the "PS-series" is going to be in this big exhibition of galleries in the Carroussel du Louvre opening Wednesday-evening.
Baudoin Lebon also called right away the curator of photography of the Centre Beaubourg to urge him to see this new work. Centre Beaubourg has been purchasing the work of Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski for their collection and Baudoin Lebon believes there might be more possible with this important museum.