Annalisa Sonzogni / Passeggeri
My knowledge of photography and film is largely informed by my passion for, and strong relation with the Italian landscape in the twentieth-century, as well as the practical research and experimentation I am conducting through commissioned projects. In this context, my own practice has included production of site-specific installations. This ongoing experimentation has raised questions about translation, the possibilities of combining forms of production and display, as well as the notion of ‘two-dimensional’ and ‘three-dimensional’. To what degree does the architectural context change or determine the art works exhibited? How does a combination of contexts and forms impact the perception and manifestation of an art work?
In the light of this, I experimented with the notions of site-specific installation in art processes through my recent installation called Passeggeri (Passengers) permanently displayed inside the main atrium of Giuseppe Terragni’s Casa del Fascio in Como, Italy.
This installation presents a cycle of eleven photographs, each 200cm x165cm, displayed inside the space of the main atrium on mobile structures designed by the architect Christian Galli that, through mirrors and grey panels, enter into a spatial dialogue with the architectural design of Terragni’s building. The measurement and the prevailing horizontal dimension of the mobile structures are set according to the proportions of the building and human scale.
I have produced a series of images based closely on Terragni’s design in a way that reveals glimpses of humanity that were perhaps already present in his plans. The building houses the local headquarters of the Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza). The project Passeggeri was conceived after an intense collaboration, which lasted almost one year, between me and the Financial Police. I considered the internal spaces of the Casa del Fascio already known for its architectural perfection, connecting them with the present occupiers who work there and use those spaces.
I am particularly interested in an interpretation and critique of the ideas behind modernist architecture and the way they construct experiences of space and emotional states. In addition, I have always been interested in exploring subjective perception of spaces. I consider my work as a constant reflection on the identity of places, their culture, atmosphere and the human presence that is revealed through the ‘residue’ we leave behind.
The installation has a strange kind of afterlife. It’s still there, in a perpetual dialogue with the building and the officers.
Annalisa Sonzogni is an Italian-born artist who lives and works in London. She received a Masters in Photography from the Royal College of Art in 2008 and is currently a PhD researcher by project on a Faculty Scholarship Award with FADA (Art, Design and Architecture) at Kingston University researching in the field of Architecture with a specific interest in site-specific installation reflecting on Modernist Heritage in Britain within her photographic and film works.
Sonzogni’s work has been exhibited and published internationally, recent shows and screenings include; Stills Scotland’s Centre for Photography, Edinburgh; Careof DOCVA, Milan, Italy; Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany. She has given talks and conference papers in UK and international institutions, including a recent presentation at the Architecture Department of Cambridge University.
Currently Sonzogni is working on a collaborative project with a group of international artists and curators in collaboration with Vision Forum and the David Roberts Art Foundation.