Women in tension

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John Gutman “Sisters”; Vivien Maier.

As I’m in Vienna today, it struck me that these were both photos that Freud could happily analyse, even if taken in 50s & 60s New York and Mexico.

The Mexican photo is especially apposite as I’ve just started Sybulle Bedford’s account of her 1950s stay in Mexico, A Visit to Don Otavio. Here she describes how she sets off:

Oh yes, Peru, decidedly Peru. I set out to tour the travel agencies with energy. They showed little, but proffered what turned out to be an extremely expensive air ticket to Lima. I could not afford it. There were no boats to Chile for the next six months. Then I spotted with the idea of Uruguay. A friend from Montevideo who loved Italy had talked and left a sense of Opera and red plush, late hours and delicious food….The friend also talked of a freighter. The freighter did not materialise…An agency, at which I had my name down, offered train reservations to Mexico City for the end of the week. We took them.

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