an investigative photo documentary

Exclusive 25-page photo essay from our investigative journalist team in collaboration with award-winning photojournalist Nick Kozak. Location: Toronto, Canada Copyright Wondereur 2020.

MEET with artist Sara Angelucci curated by experimental curator Emelie Chhangur.

0
A
I THINK THERE’S A CHRONICLER IN EVERYONE’S FAMILY.
B
There’s somebody who has this sense of special occasions and feels it’s important to document them. There’s somebody who takes on that responsibility.
C
Growing up, I had an aunt who was always taking pictures. I visited her in Italy and went through all the albums she put together throughout the years.
D
PHOTOGRAPHY LETS YOU HOVER BETWEEN PAST AND PRESENT, SIMULTANEOUSLY.
E
I think that’s kind of the magic of photography: when you see a picture, you think of it as being now. At the same time, you know that the moment it was taken at is gone.
F
IN MANY WAYS, THE MEDIUM FAILS US. IT DOESN'T GIVE US ALL THE ANSWERS.
G
I quickly started looking at the holes in the medium.
H
I SEARCHED FOR WHAT WAS MISSING, AND HOW I COULD FILL THE GAPS.
I
When you’re a young person, you try to disconnect from your parents. You don’t know where you came from, or who you are. You just are, and they just are your parents. You say, 'Get out of my way so I can live my life!'
J
I lost my parents so young.
K
SUDDENLY I FOUND MYSELF WITHOUT THEM. IT WAS QUITE SHOCKING.
L
I had to really stop and consider what I wanted to know and what I wished I had asked them. I think that's when the notion of identity really became very strong for me, and I started looking to photographs.
M
N
HOW DOES PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOW YOU TO UNCOVER THE IDENTITY OF SOMEONE WHO’S LOST?
O
I was interested in the period of the carte-de-visite, a widespread 19th century photographic process that was sort of like the Facebook of its day.
P
Victorian photographers would take pictures of people, animals. They would photograph ‘exotic’ people or places, and all of this would be brought back to Europe to be used in part for their carte-de-visite.
Q
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU START LOOKING OUTSIDE OF THE FRAME?
R
In a way, the camera aided colonization in the 19th century; it aided our sense of entitlement over other beings, things, creatures, without a critical understanding of what that entitlement meant. The notion of entitlement over the world and over nature is what has facilitated our abuse of those things. And the camera was an extension of that attitude and those actions.
S
WHAT IF YOU COULD BRING HISTORY AND CONTEXT INTO THE FRAME?
T
I DID THIS BY PRODUCING HYBRID HUMAN-BIRD CREATURES.
U
There is a theory that says 'To capture a memory is like trying to capture a bird in an aviary.' That idea sort of sat with me for a while. When I was invited by the AGO to do a residency, I wanted to create a visual sound work based on endangered North American songbirds.
V
IT WAS ABOUT EMBODIMENT, THE EMPATHY WE HAVE WHEN WE ARE IN AN IN-BETWEEN PLACE.
W
I wanted the singers to figure out how they could translate a bird sound through their own bodies, their own intelligence.
X
IT'S POWERFUL TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VOICELESS.