Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Favourite Toys and Other Fetish Objects - Giochi Preferiti e Altri Oggetti Feticcio

"The objects you choose to surround yourself with tell your story", this is the quote cut out from the newspaper La Stampa that my father pinned on the side wall in the entrance of his house. When a guest knocks on his door, my father opens the door and reads this quote. He then says "Welcome to my house".

I was raised  surrounded by beautiful things, old statues from Ancient Egypt as well as a large collection of paintings from great artists. I can close my eyes and picture many things with sentimental value: the faces in the painting who were looking down at me as I was falling asleep, the beautiful portraits of my great grandparents in the living room, the Brionvega stereo with the big pile of vintage 45 RPM records and many other things that trigger emotional memories.

Unfortunately, it often happens that the things that have made someone's life special  are forgotten, sold or given away. Perhaps with time they become worn out, or from an American point of view, if you keep everything, at some point there will be no room for yourself.

Yesterday I was thinking that it is not the objects that count. It is the relationship that you have with the objects and what you do with them that make the objects special. In many cases, especially for a child, these relationships are ephemeral.

Winnitu', a popular doll in Italy in the late 1970s
My mother reminded me that for a year or so I could not be parted from a little American-Indian doll that would sing a song when you pulled her string. I was allowed to take her to every trattoria we were going to. Her name was Winnitu'. And I remember now fantasizing about being a member of her tribe. Two years later, the doll ended up in a basket of the forgotten toys. Yet I can still remember the song she was singing with nostalgia. So why not try to capture the essence of the passing relationship with the objects while it is possible?

It is not by chance that the other day I picked up the Nikon and started shooting photos. I wanted to record the toys Tronk plays with, his favourite toys, the objects he leaves abandoned in specific places of our house, the things that have become part of his world. I wanted to capture the beauty and the special meanings that Tronk has given these objects as a two year old child, so that one day, he will be able to see them and, perhaps, remember these moments.

"Foto mamma?" (Pictures mom?)
"Si, sto cercando di fotografare le cose che ami" (yes, I am trying to photograph the things you love)

"Tante foto mamma?" (Many pictures mom?)


"Tante foto mamma?" (Many pictures mom?)


"Tante foto mamma!" (Many pictures mom!)

"Basta foto mamma?" (No more pictures mom?)

"Dammi Ciuccio? Dammi Ciuccio?" (Can you give me the binky? Can you give me the binky?)
"Foto ciuccio? Nooooooo! No foto ciuccio!" (Binky picture? Nooooooo! No binky picture!), Tronk repeated.

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