COSSIOLS. EL TEMPS RETRATAT
In 1997 Toni Catany published, in the collection “the minimum” of the estizo publishing house, the small volume Cossiols, which includes twelve photographs taken in August 1985 in Llucmajor, in the house and the corral of Purgatorio street, where the photographer spent the first years of his life, until he moved to Barcelona.
Catany had been living in Barcelona for a few years (since the sixties) when he took these photographs of his birth house, now inhabited only by his mother. The images show us what the environment was like where the photographer grew up, and where, years later, the Cossiols series was to be produced.
The son kept in the house, almost until the end of his life, his room, with a window facing the corral, the same place where the Italian photographer Cesare Colombo had photographed him, years ago, with his mother.
Catany often portrays the corners of his home in Llucmajor. This recidivism, which his archive evidences and documents, is exhibited in this specific series, dated 2002, of some flowerpots that hang from the walls of the corral. These are just some of the many images that he produced, over the years and during his stays, especially in the summer, at his mother’s house.
These pots are photographed in their usual place, without composition and with natural light, and Catany’s intervention is restricted to taking the frontal shot and framing it.
“Photograph” and “portray” are not, strictly speaking, synonymous. Of course, portraying someone can be photographing them, if it is done with a camera and not with a brush, for example, but both terms would be equivalent only in this specific sense. Having said that, in the Llucmajorer dialect, and in Catany’s way of speaking, these terms were frequently interchanged, and it was not uncommon to hear him say “today I have portrayed some quinces”, or “take me to Llucalcari because I want to portray the pines on the sea ”. The Alcover-Moll dictionary includes, however, a figurative sense according to which the verb means “to reproduce or reflect the image of something”, which is flawlessly depicted by a beauteous verse by Tomás Aguiló: “The sea portrays color of the sky”.