The covid-lockdown has created a peculiar separation between inside and outside, and for many of us, the outside has become really unfamiliar. Using scaffolding outside to frame passers by, I took these photographs from my window with the curiosity of this separation in mind.
The scaffolding acts as an urban cover. I can experience the
street as an onlooker, with no fear of being looked at myself. There is an
unsettling power that comes from looking out of a high up window and observing
people below, and an even more unsettling one from taking their photograph.
I found it acceptable
to take pictures of masked people as their identity is hidden, and this also
lends itself to the weirdness that is the outside world during a pandemic. The
curiosity extends; who are these people, where are they going, what do they
do… Why should I know? And then I walk away from the window into the safety
of my indoors.
This series of Polaroids
focuses on Aeducilae, in Italian known as Edicole, which are small structures used as
shrines: niches for sacred statues or images. These function as places of
those who believe in the catholic religion. But also by placing them on the
exterior walls of houses, they are ‘taking over the streets’, they are seen by
everyone, believers or not, and they have become part of the Sicilian culture
in general. Some are big, some are small, they are a very common sight all over
I’ve chosen these as the subject of my documentation as I was
working on a brief about frames. During the lockdown, I’ve had the
opportunity to walk around and examine the frames that were present throughout
my childhood, living in a very religious country such as Italy. After selecting
the shots that would be part of my series, I started questioning whether
the plastic look of the Polaroid wasn’t too ‘modern’ for these ancient frames.
I focused on bringing our culture within the photos by rethinking the Polaroid’s
frame to fit the subject and taking inspiration from the crocheted doilies very
present in our houses. This was done to better represent the cult of these
architectonic structures whose function is as places of cult
themselves. The last image is an extra addition, with a difference within
the series itself, as it is not mounted nor carved into a wall, but is placed
on the rocks in the sea, where the area takes it’s name from another sacred
symbol, ‘Croce di Mare’.