The Home I Am

A house constitutes a body of images that
gives mankind proofs or illusions of stability.
We are constantly re-imagining its reality:
to distinguish all these images
would be to describe the soul of the house.” – Gaston Bachelard

An ending, or a separation, is often a circumstance that takes us to the border of existence; it dredges up a constellation of past events, which return like strokes and swishes through our senses. The past remains in the present as a story that our flesh becomes. Topography of intimacy is the performance of a sense of home, which brings into the visible the embodiment of an intimate lived space and time. The house we live in, the people with whom we share it, and our own presence enter reality together as a whole shared being. This space is shaped by our use of it and arrangements within it. In turn the space shapes us, too, through the pathways of gestures, postures, and movements that we perform in our domestic practices. A sense of home emerges together with a sense of our Self. To unravel my embodied memory was to map a somatic topography, a map of sensory contacts, which weaved the story of a broken relationship.

This photographic collection represents a “home-made” body. It is the result of one day spent carrying out a practice of farewell to my home, through which to recollect my experiences of intimacy that occurred silently, heedlessly, and repetitively. This practice came out spontaneously, as an instinctive urge to embrace the pain of letting go as catharsis; a ritual to preserve forever a remarkable time of my life. There is no real separation, but rather transmutation. Our body turns into what we leave or miss, into the sense of what we lived and loved.

4, via Foppa, 20144, Milan. A 1940s building. First floor, 2 room flat: a microscopic point located in the World — an entire universe to me.

It was the day before I had to start packing everything up. I had recently moved to London, but had to fly back to Milan for a few days. We agreed that I would stay in our flat, while he would spend those days at his new partner’s. We were about to leave the flat in which we had lived together, and which, from then on, I would continue to inhabit in my body. That day, for the first time, I looked carefully at the whole space of my home. Those rooms, the furniture and the objects, which had ceased to be used and needed, stood out as powerful presences. I asked myself what I knew about all the things that I had used for so long. I began to wander around and look for some answers. My body got lost in that domestic order; I inhaled each thing present in that flat, and I exhaled the memory of those years gone by.

Photographic Project, 2009.