Annalisa Sonzogni


by Anna Daneri

The function of the image, as Gogol' said, is to express life itself, not ideas or arguments about life. It does not signify life or symbolize it, but embodies it, expressing its uniqueness.

— Andrej Tarkovskij


For Annalisa Sonzogni, the crisp simplicity of Giuseppe Terragni’s Casa del Fascio in Como, is a great source of fascination. In response, she has produced a series of images based closely on his design in a way that reveals glimpses of humanity that were perhaps already present in Terragni’s plans. For if the architect had indeed designed the building to be fluid, lived in and enjoyed by its inhabitants, the ‘human scale’ (a clear reference to Le Corbusier) is clearly evident throughout: in the openings, the stairwells, in the way all its different elements relate to each other.

The photographs of Annalisa Sonzogni are a way of recapturing this fluidity, substituting the strict modular structure of the Terragni’s space with visual tricks of reflection and images from a subjective glance.

Perhaps here lies the main purpose of the exercise, in a subtle means of re-appropriation. In response to the Golden Section, the reversed diagonal, the Modular system employed by of the king of Italian Rationalism, Sonzogni supports and questions the subjective perspective of those who engage with the space on a daily basis.

There is here something akin to an act of deconstruction of a text, but also of a space: the notion suggested by Derrida of clarifying and making visable at the same time as taking away. Photographs mounted on movable panels, the reflections produced by the mirrors, the set of images multiplying in the installation "Passengers" are not simply captions explaining the space, but a sum of refractions and furtive glances: in the end they illustrate nothing, if anything, they subtract something. It is perhaps an indication of a more general method, which tells us of our relationship with space and with the past. To understand it completely means erasing the evidence, by irrupting with our irreducible subjective gaze.

Based on these assumptions it is possible to think of another use, that of a temporary exhibition; those empty spaces suggested by the panels, like vertical cloth partitions seperating scenes in a theatre, put daily life on show and offer glimpses of the skeleton of an exhibition.