Dick Sanders – The Red Door

28.05.2011 in09:13 in Documentary, People -->


In 1995 I made a series of photographs in front of the La Golandrina Cerveceria (The Swallow Beer Bar) in the red-light district of Tijuana, Mexico. My inspiration came from John Barth’s novel, the Floating Opera, in which the writer shares this view of life — (Barth) “It always seemed a fine idea to me to build a showboat with just one big flat open deck on it, and to keep a play going continuously. The boat wouldn’t be moored, but would drift up and down the river on the tide, and the audience would sit along both banks. They could catch whatever part of the plot happened to unfold as the boat floated past, and then they’d have to wait until the tide ran back again to catch another snatch of it. To fill in the gaps, they’d have to use their imaginations, or hear the word passed along from upriver or downriver. Most times they wouldn’t understand what was going on, or they’d think they knew, when actually they didn’t. Lots of times they’d be able to see the actors, but not hear them. That’s how much of life works: our friends float past; we become involved with them; they float on, and we must rely on hearsay or lose track of them completely; they float back again, and we must either renew our friendship–catch up to date–or find that they and we don’t comprehend each other any more. It’s a floating opera, friend, chock-full of curiosities, melodrama, spectacle, instruction, and entertainment.” — (Me again) And thus as I stood in front of the La Golandrina Cerveceria, with its red leather flap for a door, and saw all manner of life floating in and out of view, it struck me that this was a “floating opera…chock-full of curiosities…”