Hands and a ‘we’.
The girl’s hands. Her fingers touch each other, lying on her skirt seam, half resting on her left knee. The handmade, knitted skirt is a summer present from her grandmother. The grandmother’s hand gently touches the edge of the knitted skirt with her fingertips. Just because. Barely noticeable. A gesture that shows affection. A soft, wordless appropriation: “The skirt that I knitted for you.” Her hands have worked, in the garden, in the kitchen, and have often been wiped on the apron that protects her dress.
Women’s hands. Hands and arms of both women. A tender choreography of unawareness, showing intimacy and kinship: the punctum of this photograph.
The other punctum: a chair that is shared for the duration of taking the photograph. Standing behind the backrest, stooping to fit into the format, the girl’s grandfather. Without placing his hands on the women’s shoulders. A spontaneous, “Why don’t you join us?” and “We’ll take another photo with the three of you”.
Before this, there were many photos of the girl. On her own. The mechanical sound of the shutter as the expression of the moment. Then photos of the girl with her grandmother when she’s visiting. And everyone holding their breath for seconds and keeping still until the camera clicks and the film is exposed. These moments pass slowly. In these moments, everyone feels the body warmth, the presence of the other.
Being there, between beats, between the creation of a photograph. Several ‘I’s. Several ‘you’s. And in between, something like a ‘we’.