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Señor de los Pájaros

Recurring dream, 1980-83?, by Graciela Iturbide (photo, 1984)

The photograph Señor de los Pájaros was taken after a recurring dream of a man surrounded by birds. She [Iturbide] then encountered that very man in Las Islas Marías, capturing her dreams on film. Neither the dream nor photograph could exist without each other.

Photo 'Senor de los Pajaros' (1984) by Graciela Iturbide; based on a recurring dream.
Source: Photographic: the Life of Graciela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero & Zeke Peña, Getty Publications, 2018; p.90.


--Chris Wayan


In an interview, Graciela herself clarifies the romanticized version above.

"One day... I dreamed a sentence over and over: "In my country I shall plant birds." And I saw a man with many birds flying around him. In my dreams the sentence and the image appeared together.

"I don't know what meaning the phrase had, and visually, it was simply a man with many birds. By chance, later on, I found him. I mean, it's not too difficult to run into a man surrounded by birds. I went to an island in Baja California, near the Marías Islands, populated only by birds, and a man was there, the caretaker of the island. One of my well known photos is of him looking at the birds. I relate it to the dream.

"What I still haven't figured out is whether the sentence has to do with me as a photographer or simply as a person. It was when I wanted to print the photo that I remembered the dream, and it made an impression. Now I don't know if I've exaggerated the recognition of the image, or if the dream influenced me to see a certain reality. It could be that the image was captured by my dream."

Source: Eyes to Fly With by Graciela Iturbide, University of Texas Press, Austin, 2006, p. 16-17

LISTS AND LINKS: recurring dreams - predictive dreams? - psychic dreams in general - birds - loneliness vs voluntary loners - islands - photography - life-paths - more by Graciela: Burning House - Mexico

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