In absence of the body
The project was inspired and takes its title from an article by Annalisa Camilli, published in Internazionale last October 2020, entitled “In the absence of the body”. In the very touching article, the testimony of a woman who lost her father during the hardest days of the Covid pandemic in Bergamo. The father's is one of the many bodies that was taken away by military trucks for cremation, of which there is still no news. The story left me impressed with the images of this man's personal effects, fixed, motionless, in the house from which he came out to never return.
I then shot the first still lifes starting from some elements, that is the objects left in the house crystallized in the moment of their last use.
I then began to read the many testimonies that were on the facebook page and on the site of the group "Noi denunceremo", born spontaneously to collect the testimonies of the relatives of the victims and denounce the mistakes made by those who had managed the crisis.
The theme of the objects was recurring, not only those present in the house, but also the personal effects returned, in the hospital, to the relatives. The wedding ring left on the bedside table, the paternal gloves, the grandmother's rosary, the place where family watched television, the crosswords with the last message from a mother, the father's watch, the mimosa never given, the telephone that does not give news, very small things, which speak of a lacerating lack.
In particular, I was struck by the testimony of a girl who lost both mother and father within a few days, who had the intention of moving into their home because being among their things gave her back the warmth of their embrace.
And after all, what is photography for in most cases, if not to give us back, even for a few seconds, a memory, a feeling?
Andy Warhol said "The best thing about a photograph is that it never changes, even when the people in it do." If loved ones disappear then perhaps it is even more true.