Friday, February 24, 2012

4 PHOTOS from EGYPT circa 1997

Four photographs from Egypt circa 1997, from the top down:
#1. trompe l'oeil sphinx; #2. the Colossi of Memnon, Luxor commemorating the pharoah Amenhotep III; #3. me shooting #4. Mr. Twister amongst pyramids. The one of Twister remains unusual for two reasons.

A) Wardrobe. There's Mr. Twister looking dapper in his woolen military coat and windblown in the mists, in a normally hot, dry desert. We had shipped some warm outerwear to our Cairo destination in advance, because all almanacs/weather prognosticators/ Nostrodami had predicted the 4 days a year that that region gets cool weather and a possibility of rains for the span we'd be there. Boy, were our freezing fellow travelers jealous of our contingency efficiency.

B) Aforementioned Weather. The windblown, cloudy mists obscured the city highrise skyline and dust/smog of Cairo, giving this portrait the antiquated frisson of 19th century travel photos.

extraneous but apt poem:
by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

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