Home that is not Home

When I moved to Helsinki, more than 10 years ago I was looking for a radical change in my life. I wanted to destroy all the bridges and to create new ones. I wanted to invent a new life for myself. Start again from the beginning, in the farthest possible place.

Years passed, life passed, what was familiar became memories.
When I turned back to look at what I had created I didn’t find new bridges, but only foreign signs.

HOME THAT IS – NOT HOME (Helsinki 2017-2019)

In the last years I started to develop a feeling of homesickness that I never experienced before in my life. Because many of my projects were forcing me to long journeys abroad, that feeling acerbated into a constant longing for a sense of belonging for the place where my address was located. Being back home after a long trip though, wasn’t fulfilling at all my need of geographical or social affinity.
Naturally I decided to turn back to my roots, to the places where I grew up and had the first important life experiences. But there I couldn’t find anything alive anymore, I felt like I was just a tourist admiring unsharp memories.
One day, without a specific plan, I took my camera and started to document the place where I was living and where I spent most of my adult life. I started with the nearest surroundings and little by little I end up covering the whole map of the city. It began as an exercise of ”automatic photography”, the subjects weren’t planned or selected for any particular thematic reason.
It was a process that gave me the possibility to reconnect to a practice that I had forgotten or just abandoned in time. A practice based on the love for photography and its naive simplicity in the act of recording life. Everything was photographed, without a selection. A sort of democracy of subjects, where everything is equal in front of the eyes.
However, the images that I started to collect weren’t just random documents of time. The images talked frankly to me about a daily life of pilgrimages in search of a sense of belonging. A struggling research for elements that could connect me with that space that I supposed to know already well. City details collected to fight the boredom and the loneliness of the day passing by. In the photos, I couldn’t almost recognise anymore the place; it was like if I was constructing a new place trough images, maybe a place where I could have felt less foreigner.

 

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