ALMA BECCARELLI - LUNGHEZZA D’OMBRAAUTHOR
Lunghezza d’ombra is the intimate female journey in which the desire for motherhood clashes with the awareness of having a rare genetic disease. The painful awareness of having a transmissible disease becomes a reason for confrontation and reconciliation with one's original self, a point of suture with one's feminine identity.
Many symbols are used: evoked by the sea (the feminine element) are those of the octopus and the seashell.
The former, when it comes to health, is a symbol of good omen, being in fact one of the rare animals to possess as many as three hearts to rely on. While the religious icon of the ex-voto evokes the idea of a superior entity to appeal to (be it faith, medical research or any other grace to be requested from the unknown).
The seashell, which has always been an emblem of fertility and femininity, contains an egg sprinkled with pearls: in the sense of perceiving rarity - even in the case of illness - as synonymous of preciousness.
In the carnation series, on the other hand, we find a taller flower that attempts to compare itself with the others and, in an effort to recognise itself, cuts off its bud. In doing so, however, he deprives himself of his own essence.
The work concludes with a free homage to Victorian portraits of mothers with children: in which mothers were often portrayed close to their children hidden by a cloth (see Laura Lason's Hidden Mothers).
The purpose was probably to keep the children quiet while being photographed. My free interpretation recalls the idea of the mother concealed in front of a wish she cannot always fulfil. In my case, therefore, the phantasmagorical image is more that of the child than of the mother and that’s the reason of the title hidden sons.