“Would no longer recognise me today”/”Oggi non mi riconoscerebbe più


“Would no longer recognise me today” is what my grandmother wrote on the back of a photo of her, sent, I believe, to one of the visionaries she occasionally believed in.

Still on the subject of memory (as in father’s memories), I developed this project around my mother’s family home, a home that was an important place in my childhood.

I used family photos to create this universe of spirits and dilapidation. The members of my family, almost all of whom are dead, are related to the current reality of the house as if their very existence and truth depended on and returned to that structure, not as a prison but as a magic box that guards them.

The more than 100-year-old walls of this building have been home to three generations of my family. They have lived through economic crises, wars, Nazi occupation, births and deaths. The last to inhabit it were my great-aunt Livia, my grandmother Maria and my uncle Mario.

It was always an ambivalent place, populated by books, old photos and biscuits. It was home but it was also a mystery, it attracted us children but sometimes it was very scary, especially at night. There was talk of ghosts, sinister noises, attics hiding secrets (when we were little, my brother and I even thought we saw a ghost). But it was also the home of festivities, of lunches offered by my great-aunt, of days spent drawing, caring for the cats that came to give birth in the sheds and playing by inventing the most disparate rituals.

Today it is deserted, empty, unsold and left to its inexorable decline. I still can’t imagine that one day it will no longer be there. Every time I return to Italy I go to visit it: the smell of the wisteria, the creaking of the floors, the shade of the garden… everything resurfaces in my mind but not in the form of a memory but as if they were clues and that universe of childhood was still a place to be reached.

It is the end of a vision of reality, of the generation that struggled to understand what a digital image was. 

-What remains of you is in the abandoned things.-