The Way We Were

My main area of interest is exploring the theme of belonging, both as a physical relationship with the environment and context, but more crucially as a mental and emotional status.

The critical question behind this work is formulated around the theme of belonging; this inevitably leads to questioning the wider subjects of home and domesticity, journey in the form of a homecoming movement, memory, childhood, sense of place and displacement, identity and the fragmented body. In exploring this essential question, I use my life and personal experiences as main source of inspiration or starting point for my practice. The questions that I seek to engage with, not necessarily to answer, are:

What is belonging?
Why is belonging so important to me?
What is Home?

Can home be a stable condition or is it destined to be an ephemeral one? Why do we search for a place to call home? Why do we identify with certain spaces, both physical or mental, rather than with others…?

The Way We Were - Styrofoam, Plastazote, Polystyrene, single slide projection and audio loop, installation 2007

The dining room in my family house in Italy is the key space of the home. It is where my family gets together, exchanging thoughts and experiences of the day, re-establishing the strong bond between its members by the ritual of lunch and dinner. But I do not live there anymore. Although the family house in Italy is my home, I do not live there anymore. I have been away for many years… This is a piece about my home and my family, about the past, how things used to be, about memory and distance. In a word, it is a work on emotional displacement and fragmentation.

It is a physically charged piece, in which each element has been shaped and carved by me as an exact copy of the original objects of my kitchen in Italy, made out of a neutral and sterile foam material. The whiteness and immateriality of the pieces enables me to use them as a backdrop for the single slide projection of the idealised family. The image, hitting the different surfaces and objects of the installation, becomes thus distorted and fragmented just like reality can be.

The viewer is drawn into the installation by trying to decipher the multiplicity of split images and decode the physicality of the installation, that presents itself both real and ephemeral at the same time, thanks to the immateriality of the foam objects.