from 'Slices of Life, 52 recipes from 31 perfect strangers',
lovingly prepared for you by
Elia Romanelli, Piero Vereni & Ottavia Castellina
BRUNO Edition, Venice
During the Renaissance, Cabinets of Curiosities, or Wunderkammern, were regarded as both ‘theatres of the world’ and ‘theatres of memory’. They symbolically conveyed the patron’s control of the world through its indoor, microscopic representation. In the same way, in these series of portraits, each person is depicted as part of his or her own private Wunderkammer, made up of personal belongings of their choice.
Selected objects were staged around their owners to create a sort of ‘portable domestic altar’. The people in the photos not only agreed to open the doors of their houses to complete strangers; they also allowed the audience to step into their ‘sanctuary’ (the house) and worship at their ‘shrine’ (the objects). They agreed to be and to perform as their own characters on their own stage.
Inspired by 15th century Flemish art paintings, these portraits also perceive the domestic as symbolic ground. However, here the staged objects represent more than social status and official roles; they trigger self-reflection and embody people’s experiences, memories, emotions and dreams. Objects shape the identity of their users and define, in part, who they are, who they have been and who they wish to become.