Family tree

Chiara Bruni

I borrowed my grandparents' memories because they're more interesting than mine. What attracts me is that I don't know where they come from. They represent a story that they cannot tell anymore and I don't feel the responsibility to write it, to pull it out from a drawer, to remove the layer of dust that covers their eyes. By looking at them I look for my self, to know where I come from before I understand where I'm going.

I discover myself in front of the women I have been, I try to retrace my smiles on other mouths that have smiled before me. They're just people posing for who knows who, they don't worry about my existence, they cannot reach me but I can reach them.
By leafing through the pages of my old family album I understand the meaning of that feeling which in Portugal is called "saudade": a melancholic feeling for a time that we didn't experience. I am moved on seeing my grandma in black and white and I think that I miss her, I miss the fact that I didn't have the chance to live her while she was young. I miss the fact I wasn't with her while she was falling in love with my grandfather.

I've digitalized, through a scanner, my family archive, in order to create digital collages in which a far away past meets the onirical world that I keep in my head. I've created a new dimension in which two different ages coexist. This is my way to feel I am present.
My grandparents had a few photographs in which they could recognise them, but those images tell a lot of stories and I've imagined all of them. I made solemn every hug, I transformed every gaze in a window, I made an unforgettable event of every snowy day.
I say to myself that I can tell the past as I want, because it doesn't exist. What I'm showing to you it's my imaginary present.  

Chiara Bruni
Sora (Italy)


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