While walking through a Short History of Photography at ICP, my attention was drawn to a photographer I had never seen before—Alessandra Sanguinetti. The image was The Necklace from her amazing series, The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Enigmatic Meaning of Their Dreams.
Alessandra has been shooting with Guille and Belinda since 1999 in the Argentia countryside. The girls are cousins and the project started when they were 9 and 10 years old. Whitehot magazine did an interview with her in 2008 that gives a sense of the photographer, her influences and process. Alessandra speaks of playing with Guille and Belinda in a collaborative process of suggesting a scene or situation to them and then they take the scene to new places. In describing the work in an interview with The New Yorker, Sanguinetti says, “It was the best time of my life, spending time with them.”
I love the series, the playfulness, the intimacy and the boldness of Guille and Belinda. The series explores the rich terrain of play, reality, dreams, and growing up.
I’ll end with a couple of quotes from Sanguinetti.
“It’s disheartening when you find yourself just taking good pictures–pictures that don’t have heart. Great pictures surprise me, they have depth and mystery.”
“I take photographs for the same reasons other people work with photography; it is a way of telling a story based on something real, and it stops time. I am interested in building something based on something else which already exists; in libing it, recreating it, and narrating it in my own way. I want to visually translate my ideas of what life is. I am very much interested in the idea of questioning photography as a medium; questioning the veracity and the ambiguity that images are endowed with. I am puzzled by the “faithfulness” or unquestionability attributed to the written word as opposed to the constant questioning of the image, by the rigor with which photography is treated in the media, while the weight of words is not questioned in equal measure. A single word can completely alter the meaning of a text, or a piece of news.”