New York in 1968, Alessandra Sanguinetti’s family moved to Argentina when she was two years old. She lived there until 2003, but is now based in San Francisco – for her, she says, home is two places.
“I was in Buenos Aires when the project was proposed,” says Sanguinetti. “My parents still live in the same apartment where I grew up. It’s where I stay when I’m down there, so it felt natural to make work in my childhood home.
“Where you grow up becomes a reference for what home should and shouldn’t be,” she observes. “Patterns and habits and a sense of personal space are probably embedded within you and defined by your personal home, so what might seem like just another apartment to an outsider was a goldmine for me.”
A lock, a stash of hidden money, jars labelled ‘Never Open’ – Sanguinetti hones in on domestic details, as well as the people close to her, especially her mother and father. Under her lens, they’re shown up close in raw detail, and looking at them in this way was hard, she says.
“A childhood home is fraught with all kinds of memories and ghosts,” she observes. “What stayed the same has an uncanny quality to it and what has changed just heightens the passing sense of time and sense of loss. No corner is neutral and everything evokes a strong feeling, so I found the best possible way for me to approach it was in the most clinical way possible. That way it wouldn’t be clouded by sentimentality.”
“Making this work and forcing myself to take a longer look at my childhood home strangely made me feel more connected to my present home in California,” she adds. “The former is static, while my home now is alive and still shaping itself.”
HOME, a collaboration between Fujifilm and Magnum Photos runs from 18-27 May 2018 at The Vinyl Factory London and the photobook can be ordered from shop.magnumphotos.com. Further information on the project and international exhibitions is available on home-magnum.com