Some of you killed Luisa
(2016 – ongoing)
Some of you killed Luisa is my attempt to make sense of one of the darkest histories of my homeland, the island of Sardinia, where between 1960 and 1997, almost 200 people were kidnapped, and some murdered, in acts of vigilante justice.
Focusing on the desperation of two mothers – their fates intertwined by the abduction of a child, and the retaliatory murder of another – I draw on archive news footage of two stories that gripped the nation.
The story is told through screenshots from family videos and from news broadcasts related to kidnapping cases. It also includes my own photographs from the research process in Barbagia, as well as photographs inspired by the memories and stories of the kidnapped. Finally, there is a written account of my investigation, including my struggle to break through the wall of silence caused by the ever-present law of omertà.
O Lord, open our lips
The depersonalising perception of the figure of the priest is a common phenomenon carried out by both religious and non-religious people. It is the result of two widespread non-declared schools of thought which support the idea that priests are exempt from two features which are crucial in outlining an individual’s personality: interests and mistakes.
On the one hand, non-religious people are unlikely to imagine priests outside the context of the church or any other religious environment, almost struggling with the idea of a clergy person developing personal interests and passions. On the other hand, worshippers tend to discharge pastors from the common human fault, as though strengthening their faith by picturing the priest as a saint.
Being a priest is not only a vocation but also a job, one which requires a most powerful uniform: cassocks, white collars, mitres… are like potential labels, giving us the pretentious privilege of a straightforward knowledge of the individual who wears it. But how accurate is this knowledge? How much is there that we do not want to understand? How much easier is it for us to see the stereotype, compared to the effort we would need to make to understand the real essence of these people?
The two terms ‘woman’ and ‘priest’ are easily definable but difficult to understand in depth as both contain various codes, too complex to be decrypted. Two of these codes are femininity and spirituality, and they are the ones I have decided to explore in order to outline these women’s individuality. The purpose of the project is to stimulate a debate about who these women really are. What are they allowed to do? What not? Are they mothers? Wives? Lovers?
We open our lips to breath, to eat, to drink, to kiss. We should always open our lips to speak out, and we should always be listened. By building deep relationships with my subjects I aim to reveal details of their lives, details which operate as hints of their womanhood and priesthood, of their interests and their mistakes.
I used to
I often find myself thinking obsessively about the past. About heavenly childhood times and the fleeting adolescence. I am interested in the objectivity of time and how memories are inevitably altered by our feelings. This project is about the pleasant fright that moves me when a sudden scent travels through my senses, bringing back a repressed memory.
I imagined myself back in the places of my childhood, in Sardinia. Gradually I started assembling them to vernacular pictures of my family and images of my diary. As a result the memories are just partially true: they merge with the imaginary and with fragments of some beloved people’s stories. In this way they originate a deep but not true emotion: as a matter of fact someone else’s perception arises in addition to our own. I wanted this to happen in such an intimate way that it is not possible to tell apart my own memories from my parents’ and friends’ one.
While the work is about my self-knowledge and my relationship with memory, it is also a means to evoke the transience of time as duration. The images want to recall an important state of life by blending the conscious with the unconscious and altering the rules in favour of the instinct.