A project studied between the dalmatian photographer Robert Marnika and the Sardinian artist Rita Chessa, is the connection between two other photo projects.
The first one “Visits”, thanks to the space and the objects of an abandoned house, tells a story among many, linked to the great wave of migration after World War II and the re-use of this space to accommodate civilians during the war in former Yugoslavia.
The last project “The guest”, gives attention to another kind of exile, connected to all those people that, before the war, belonged to a mix family, both in religion and ethnicity.
The common thread that connects these three works is the house: unoccupied, abandoned.
In “Visits” the house gives a hope for a hypothetical return, whereas in “Across” the sense of abandon is complete.
No matter who the owners were. You could guess their way of life, their roles, the ability to readjust and be organized in a specific small area.
Among the encrusted dust, objects are still recognizable, and so is their shape, their use. It is not a nostalgic search for the lost time, but a restart from the only thing still possible: increase the emotional intensity of certain actions or simple daily movements where everything seems hopelessly dead.
Photography certainly cannot bring people back to life, but it may link the place with one’s own history or experience.
“Across” is the point from which to start a daily life stopped suddenly, it could be for an eviction, a bombardment, a plunder, a natural phenomenon, an abandonment, persecution, a judgment, a death.
There’s a female figure moving in this space. She is at the boundary between an emptied woman, dressed in mourning, almost a ghost and a living presence at the same time. Everything around her is broken. As if she was in a theatre, she challenges death with old gestures like preparing bread dough, or trying to capture the sunlight in a tent, trying to find a glimmer of life.
R. Marnika, R.Chessa