Navigating the (Lint-y) Fabric of the SpaceTime Continuum: Photographs of Debbie Harry, 1975–77
LJP (always): “Hey, I’ll take pictures of you guys.”
I feel clunky navigating the world. I see myself as not only physically awkward but clumsy in social situations. To smooth my road, I’ve picked up a camera and used it. That elegant piece of equipment—in this case a Nikon F1—held to my eye forms a bond between me and you, unites us in a further-agreed-upon mystery.
This is a selection of pictures I took of Debbie Harry while she and I were occupying space in proximity to one another from 1975 through 1977. That the negatives survived my many lives and locations since is a bit of magic. They show the wear of time, but their subject remains fresh, un-self-conscious, and I hope, unimpeded by my presence.
Deborah Harry: “Being hot never hurts.”
It’s hard to complain about looking into a wholesome, beautiful face, especially one that also conjures “Kung Fu Girls” and “paka lola luau love.”
Some memories I had and discoveries made while microscopically clearing the negatives of their accumulation of dust and scars are these:
People were always giving us clothes, and the clothes often came from the trash. We took for granted the eradication of bedbugs, had the impression we were getting a grip on disease, never thought twice about dragging furniture or fashion in off the street. When we dressed up we weren’t just wearing clothes; it was “drag.” Items from the 1930s and ’40s were particularly coveted. We celebrated trash, hand-me-downs, and thrifted haute couture from any recently deceased doyenne. Fabric was manufactured in a different way during that span of decades. It was thicker and therefore stiffer, but it also didn’t pill as much. Lint was more of a thing. Or maybe that was just because of how we lived and laundered. Not sure.