“You know full well as I do the value of sisters’ affections: There is nothing like it in this world.”
“I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.”
Intimate, attentive, intelligent, sensitive to what happens in the everyday routine of a life aimed at growth, exploration and change. Inevitably diaristic, Alessandra Sanguinetti’s work can be viewed as the powerful tale of the intimate universal bond between three women. A work on care and feminine friendship that manages, through the delicate combination of never noisy shades, to outline a strongly poetic and free story.
Second episode of the series The Adventures of Guille and Belinda, An Everlasting Summer continues a dialogue already begun with a first editorial project that saw Alessandra Sanguinetti in collaboration with her two Argentine cousins, Belinda and Guillermina, with whom the author began an intimate and enigmatic path in search of the sense and meaning of the dreams of the two girls.
With The Illusion of an Eternal Summer, Alessandra Sanguinetti returns to rural Argentina to work with the two girls to continue, add, expand and further explore the intimate world of the cousins, relating through an attentive and sensitive gaze the events, the dimensions and the changes that advancing in life inevitably promises.
Adopting a narrative posture that has many points in common with cinematic storytelling, Alessandra Sanguinetti follows the two girls from 14 to 24 years of age, producing an observation that sees them as they face the fluid territory between adolescence and young adulthood.
By concretizing a listening and a story that partly confirms and rediscovers elements already explored in the previous book, (The rural setting, the presence of animals), Alessandra Sanguinetti shows us the daily life of the two cousins as they grow up through adolescence to adulthood and finally to motherhood, all while maintaining and deepening the feminine intimacy that has long characterized their evolving relationship.
The book begins with scenes of pubescence: we see Guille and Belinda reclining on bunk beds as they playfully adorn them with homemade costumes of tinsel and dried flowers. Wide expanses of blue sky crossed by a rainbow over infinite unspoiled rural horizons create the impression of a timeless universe on which the author is able to reveal the discovery and growth of girls in their distinct personalities. And the complexities of the relationships at stake – that between Guille and Belinda, as well as that between the two girls and Sanguinetti herself – are revealed as the book unfolds, layering the images with a rich familiarity that can only be captured through years of closeness and attention.
By focusing on issues such as the cyclical nature of life and the eternal fleetingness of the present moment, the book gradually and chronologically guides the reader through growth, change, birth and death.
The inevitable passage of time is revealed not only in the development of Guille and Belinda, but also through the author’s interventions in their story with sudden representations of the farm’s life cycles, a capture of the present that refers to the need to keep something for herself.
An Everlasting Summer is a touching book that tells the passage of time, the things that change and the way they become, an emotional and poetic mapping of this “happening” of things between three people, three women whose bond spans time and events, life.
Alessandra Sanguinetti is known for her lyrical, softly-drawn photography that explores themes of memory, place, and the psychological transitions of youth.
Sanguinetti was born in New York in 1968, and brought up in Argentina where she lived from 1970 until 2003. Her interest in photography began aged 9 when she poured over her mother’s collection of books by Michael Lesy, Dorothea Lange and others. She studied Anthropology at the University of Buenos Aires and General Studies at the International Center of Photography.
In 1996 she began working on a series eventually titled, On the Sixth Day, which explored the complex relationship between man and domesticated animals in the countryside in Argentina. Three years into this project, she turned her attention to two nine-year-old cousins, Belinda and Guille, whose grandmother’s farm had been the subject of Sixth Day. Sanguinetti followed the two girls’ for five years, taking pictures embarked on a life long project, collaboratively photographing the two girls as they grew up and presently as adult women. The first five years culminated in a much-acclaimed monograph, The Adventures of Belinda and Guille and the Meaning of their Enigmatic Dreams (2010).
Sanguinetti is a recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship and a Hasselblad Foundation grant. Her photographs are included in public and private collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has photographed for the The New York Times Magazine, LIFE, Newsweek, and New York Magazine and is currently based in San Francisco
Sanguinetti has been a member Magnum since 2007. She is currently based in California.