I saw the work of Argentinian born Alesandra Sanguinetti at The Body Observed exhibition, showing at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, in Norwich, until 30th June 2019. "Featuring around 130 works from the 1930s to the contemporary, The Body Observed explores how Magnum photographers have turned their lens to the body, presenting works that examine a range of subjects from identity, intimacy, sexuality and ritual, to voyeurism and performance, among others."
Alesandra Sanguinetti's best known long-term work is a documentary photography project about two cousins, Guillermina and Belinda, growing up in the countryside of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Sanguinetti began in the late 1990's, collaborating with the girls for the next nine years, constructing images inspired by the dreams, fantasies, and fears that accompany the psychological and physical transition from childhood to adulthood.
Sanguinetti writes, “I have attempted to interpret the ending of their childhood by entering their imaginary spaces. The time when their dreams, fantasies, and fears fuse seamlessly with real day-to-day life are ending, and the photographs I have made intend to crystallize this rapidly disappearing very personal and free space.” “It is by paying attention and giving them a space in which to bring out and perform their private dreams and fears, that one can go into this world that otherwise would have been kept locked to themselves and eventually fade away.” This work was published as, The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Enigmatic Meaning of Their Dreams.
Sanguinetti was drawn into thier world of childhood make-believe and fantasy. "I'd photograph them at play, and I started asking them to imagine what their future would be like – and then they'd act it out, like stars of their own life," she says."The first two years were joyful," Sanguinetti says. "And part of it for me was living vicariously through them, and being immature." More than a decade on, though, the outside world has caught up; Belinda is now married with a baby, Guille a single mother. "So the series isn't about play any more, but growing up, and working out their identity." The enigmatic dreams and fantasies from the fertile imaginations of Guille and Belinda might have gone unobserved if not for Sanguinetti’s efforts. Through this archive of images, which are as inexplicable as the imaginations that choreographed their content, this fleeting shadow of youth is preserved.
Alesandra Sanguinetti, The Shepherds, 1998
Alesandra Sanguinetti, Beli and Pablo, 2006
Alesandrs Sanguinetti, The Real Thing, 2006