​Here I am again (2008)

Two years ago my neighbor died. Despite the fact that she lived next door to me, I never met her. A few weeks after her death, the house was sold and a crew of builders came to dispose of the remaining furniture and start the rebuilding work. While this cruel ‘renovation process' was taking place, a few old family photos fell into the front garden. The only leftovers of this woman’s life somehow became obstinately wedged between her garden fences. A small, black and white, square picture showed the face of a young woman wearing a hat. On the back of the photograph a sentence: “Here I am again”.

Objects always lead a life independent of ours. Sometimes we accord them a specific power and they become precise keys for our memory. Sometimes we find ourselves obliged to protect them so that they continue preserving our identity. This project is inspired by Proust’s theory of involuntary memory, whereby the past can be hidden in some material objects, objects we least expect. 

Here I am again uses remainders of other people’s lives as reminders for the photographer’s personal experience. It employs the unknown as familiar. It treats memory as a form of exchange. The objects chosen were found either at car boot sales or whilst walking along the street. In both cases, at the very moment they were found, they were suspended in a state of temporary death. Either unwanted or forgotten by their owners, these objects were abducted from their previous life. By borrowing their untold stories, I lent my own to them.

 

 

O t t a v i a   C a s t e l l i n a

photography