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Telling Tales

A collection of illuminated stories

Project: Art direction. Developed at MASQUESPACIO
Client: LZF Lamps
Location: Valencia, Spain-2016
Photography: Cualiti
Texts: Grassa Toro
How to show new lamp models in a different way, impressing people? Telling tales.
“Telling tales” is a series of 3 stories that have in common the light of the LZF Lamps.
We wanted to improve the retro reminiscence of the lzf lamps, so we did an hyperreal photographic recreation of stories set in the 1950s, with allusions to the realist paintings of American artist Edward Hopper and Hitchcock’s classic Rear Window.
Spanish writer Grassa Toro provided the texts wich accompanied each image. Written with a surreal quality, he described the stories for Telling Tales as a female narrator: a teenager woman looking from her window, she would observe and imagine what was happening in the building opposite. She can only see her neighbours when the lights are on, by this the lamps are the silent main character of the stories.



My name … Well, it doesn’t really matter what my name is. I have the same name as so many other people. I also like what so many other people like: ice cream, shiny shoes, warm weather, being silent for long periods of time, and watching people.

I often watch people without them noticing.  I don’t want to bother them. In fact, I’ve developed complex techniques for passing unnoticed while I watch, which I can’t reveal to you because if I did they would be useless.

As a matter of fact, I don’t watch as much as I see: I mean, I see into peoples’ lives. You can’t watch the past or the future because they’re not there in front of you, but you can see into them. The same sort of thing happens with thoughts and other things that can also be seen.

I don’t know if I already mentioned this but I also like secrets, the light you get in movie houses, my city, long avenues like the one I live on, falling in love, and having birthdays, just like anybody else.

I love to write, and when I do, I write at night.

STORY 1_ Julie & Nelson

Julie never gets back home before six in the morning. She lives alone. I perceive that she’s tired as she has been driving all night. Julie doesn’t want to make any noises that might wake up Nelson. She lives alone, with Nelson.She gets undressed in silence.

Nelson’s armchair is empty. Nelson’s not home. He is never home when Julie gets in. Just for once she would love to find him there waiting for her, even if he was asleep. Once again, Julie doesn’t want to sleep in her bed, instead, she sleeps in the living room while dreaming of blue birds. All women who sleep with one leg uncovered dream of blue birds; I read it in a book called Animal Life.

Soon she’ll wake up. She’ll go back to her room and she’ll make a call, and Nelson will pick up from somewhere in the city. She’ll ask him to come home and she’ll get dressed as if she were going out again. I’m sure Julie and Nelson must be siblings, because I’ve never seen them kiss on the lips.

Nelson will get home and he won’t kiss her today, either. He’ll caress her hair, that’s all. Julie will read off the list of her passengers from the cab last night, including the two lovers she drove to a nearby hotel, and who wouldn’t stop kissing. Nelson won’t answer; he never does. The radio broadcaster will remind them that it rained all night and will announce the President’s agenda for today, Thursday.

STORY 2_ Lana & John

Lana hardly ever leaves her apartment. She likes to get up early and open the window while the silence is still outside. She lives on the other side of the avenue, on the seventh floor, just like me. Every day she sings softly. Her songs are sentimental and I have come to know them by heart. I think she is in love. Women always sing when they are in love, and some of them even forget to turn off their bedside light.

Around noon, she goes into a different room to take her cello lesson. I can’t see her teacher but I can hear him: he has a voice that sounds like a soft summer.  Lana’s teacher is Russian, as so many cello teachers are.

The serendipitous notes from her cello blend in with the sound of the cars driving down the avenue at that time of the day. I use moments like these to organize my brother’s book keeping (he has an ice making business with home delivery).

Today is too hot and Lana draws the curtains. She’s gone. I mean, I can’t see her anymore, but I can still imagine her, slowly tracing each decision she makes. She says goodbye to her teacher with a kiss on the cheek, she turns the fan on.

Someone calls at the door. She takes her time to respond. It’s my brother who has come to deliver an order of ice. Together, they walk accross the dining room; a few drops of water fall to the rug. I call her Lana because that’s what I’d like to be called when I get to her age.

As the sun sets, Lana opens the curtains again, hoping that the breeze will blow in from the harbour. John has just arrived home. He came in without knocking and I imagine he must be her husband, because he askes her, as he does every day, for a glass of scotch with lots of ice. There will be no fire in the hearth until winter. John doesn’t realise that Lana is in love. Lana loves slicing lemons and listening to that sour sound which is so different from the sound of her cello.

STORY 3_ Ava & Silver

Silver always arrives at Dr. Stanford’s clinic in the late afternoon. He goes once a month. He is always very elegant. Today he has to wait as the doctor is still with a patient; the winter has colds running rife among the school children. Her clinic is a paediatric one. I’m positive he’s run into Mrs. Andersen and her children in the waiting room.

The Anderson children are always ill and are at the clinic every month, I think they are pretending, all they really want to do is spend an afternoon in Dr Stanford’s play room. Children these days are very smart, they even know how to lie. I never learnt how to, I only know how to imagine, which is different.

Mrs Anderson leaves the building holding her daughter by the hand, which means he is already entering into Dr Stanford’s office. I think he’s French, all men that carry a suitcase and wear a hat are french, or bachelors, or maybe even both. He greets her by her name, Ava, and she tells him how much she’s missed him.

Silver is a couturier. Dr Stanford doesn’t have time to go shopping, I hardly ever see her go out; she’s too busy looking after our children, well I mean, other people’s children, I still don’t have any. Silver will unpack some of his new creations that he’s brought for Ava to try, they are stunning. I wonder when Dr Stanford actually has the time to wear all these dresses ?

It has started to snow. Ava will tell Silver that he can’t possibly leave now, not in this cold. They’ll spend the night together. He will tell her about all the cities he’s been to and she’ll ask him lots of questions, like, if he likes to dance, or if he also makes clothes for men, or why he never gets sick? The reason Ava asks him so many questions, is because she doesn’t dare ask him the one question she has been wanting to ask him for a very long time.