Same Difference, 2016
Collaboration with Marta Gut.
Framed composition of 33 archival prints arranged over 56 kitchen tyles.
Dimensions frame: 140x40 cm
The pictures are a collection of a familiar group (based on surnames) cronologically ordered from 1920s to 1970s. Vertically are disposed images of the same person at different ages.
This work was born from the fortuitous discovery of a municipal archive of identity cards. The ID portraits are taken between 1920s and 1970s, of women born between late 19th century to mid 1950s. Along with physical characteristics, the IDs outline the profession of the individual - cards in question, in more than 90 percent, state the profession of a housewife.
Salis&Gut focused on the contradiction between the ID pictures, recorded in a need for bureaucratic control and the homologated profession status as an annihilation of identity. Both, dictated by the rules of society.
Women constituted a solidarity group, attitudes outside the paradigm in use were viewed with suspicion and distrust, if perpetrated, they could put the dimension of belonging at risk, but feeling accepted was essential for survival.
The look of the female collective was very attentive and vigilant in exercising careful control of the behavior of its members and any manifestation of diversity, lead by undue aspirations for freedom or rebellion against the established codes, determined reactions of disapproval, arousing a feeling of ill-concealed envy.
Whilst facing the archive with commercial outlook, and as photographers themselves, S&G decided to re frame the images. By preserving the original sizes, S&G utilized the golden ratio rule. The image becomes divided into rectangles with the gaze of the women contained in the erased/hidden sections. In the complex conditions described earlier, devoid of cultural tools that would promote the progress of critical thinking and elaborating on their condition, their seeing of themselves became the tool. Did they, outside their gaze, feel viewed by others for the role they embodied? How many of them desired something different for themselves, beyond the concepts promoted by the social group? How would they rid of the encumbrance of a look soaked in stereotypes?
Photographs of these women aimed to establish their existence in the social context but, by secluding their gaze, S&G enforce the anonymity and create a crowded puzzle.
Pictures are arranged as follow: we collected and chose the images of women who had the same surname, as if they were linked by a family relationship. Each picture is chronologically placed from 1820's to 1973, where the new family law in Italy was approved. A law which gave same rights and same duties to man and women. By chance, the line is brought from up to down in 1946, from a person who was photographed twice the same year. In 1946 women in Italy started voting.