I made them run away



published by: SKINNERBOOX
text by: Matteo Cremonesi

With I Made Them Run Away, Martina Zanin creates a composition whose narrative development involves the crossing of different levels. A combination of voices in which each language takes on a particular meaning and value within the narrative structure.
The photographs, archive images and texts written by the author’s mother are the means by which Martina Zanin investigates a familiar territory whose lexicon is crossed by past memories and present feelings. An interrogation of the family landscape in which the relational dynamics, needs, expectations, insecurities and judgements that characterize the ecology of intimate relationships are observed and translated through a gaze whose intelligence is capable of making the personal character of this work universal.
The author succeeds in giving voice to a dialectic exchange between mother and daughter – between photographic images and texts – through which this project and this book can be seen as a true representation in which each voice, each sign, each formal decision corresponds to a particular declination or tone of the story.
The “man”, an inconstant figure throughout the narrative, is represented as an absent presence. An empty space, or rather a scarce presence, which reinforces the impression that this project concretizes the author’s need for a confrontation and dialogue with the figure of the mother, as well as an attempt to understand, elaborate a narrative and perhaps a catharsis with respect to the complex relationship elaborated towards the male figure, whose absence is strongly present throughout the narrative, like an element around which the human landscape revolves.

WithJuxtaposing the pages of a diary of the mother entitled “Letters to a man never had” to torn family photographs in which we see only the female figures (mother and daughter) preserved in the image, the impression of a deaf narrative object is realized, the testimony and sensitive effect of a painful and complex removal to which the author responds by juxtaposing other images, new ones, precisely in an attempt to give voice to the need to reconstruct and produce different answers for this story. I Made Them Run Away is a complex work, in which Martina Zanin interrogates, recounts and crosses a different story of motherhood, a representation rich in languages and capable of differentiating the view by concretising another image. A lonely woman in search of comfort – whose painful voice crosses a wide spectrum of voices, a multiplicity of emotions for the representation and understanding of which the author uses an interaction of perspective planes and signs, images and texts whose combination reproduces the sense of a dialogue that crosses time and space between mother and daughter. With this project the artist pursues the possibility of questioning herself and her personal history. A wondering that demonstrates courage and intelligence, giving life to a journey that finds the spectator an accomplice in dynamics that, although not strictly his own, he can recognize in the effects of a tension towards the other, close to him, and in the experience of an articulation that is never dissimilar to that which constitutes every family landscape.

Martina Zanin (1994) is a visual artist born in San Daniele del Friuli. Her artistic research is linked to her personal experiences through which she investigates themes such as family ties, absence, memory, emotions and identity. She explores the ambivalence of relationships and the role of the past within them, questioning the origins of certain behaviours and patterns. She uses photography in combination with other media, such as writing, archive footage, video and sound, thus creating a multi-layered narrative within which narrative spaces and perceptions intertwine. Her visual language is characterized by poetic expression. Zanin selects, superimposes, and sequences images following a structure in which they speak to each other, determining visual and dynamic associations with the intention of communicating at a sensory level and going beyond what is visible.

Copyright © Martina Zanin, SKINNERBOOX and PHROOM all rights reserved

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