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"On the Sixth Day": photographs by Alessandra Sanguinetti

Gallery of Events - The Italian Academy, Columbia University

Updated on Oct 3, 2007

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The Italian Academy
for Advanced Studies in America
at Columbia University is pleased to present

Alessandra Sanguinetti: On the Sixth Day

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 11, 2007; 6-8 pm
The exhibition will run from October 11 to November 8, 2007
Hours: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday
The Italian Academy at Columbia University
1161 Amsterdam Avenue, New York NY 10027
Subway Line 1, Stop @ 116th Street

The symbiotic relationship between humans and domestic animals on a
small farm in the Argentinian Pampas is the focus of “On the Sixth
Day,” an exhibition of color photographs by Alessandra Sanguinetti.
Photographed over nine years, these images reveal relationships on
the farm that, in the artist’s words, “resulted in a language of
traditions that persist over the years where the cycle of life and
death is present every day.” With the camera pointed low to the
ground from the vantage point of the animals, the photos (C-prints
that enhance color and details) require the viewer to consider
these animals on a personal level. Honest and unsparing in their
portrayal of both the cultivation and slaughter of domesticated
animals, the photos present a truthful, personal and sacramental
portrait of the ritualistic processes of sustenance that exist on
small farms and that remain mostly hidden in our present culture.
Though empathic, the photographs do not pass judgment or
sentimentalize their subjects. As Sanguinetti says, “to portray an
animal is to name it. Once named, it acquires new life, and then is
spared death. Each sacrifice gives us back a disturbing image of the
border we cross when we end a life, and what it entails to have sole
dominion over another living creature. It is possible that by
exploring the fine line that separates us from what we rule, we may
reach a better understanding of our own nature.”

Art Review says, “Sanguinetti’s photographs transcend animal
voyeurism to summon the intensity and interdependence of man’s
relationship with nature on a philosophical, as well as an
emotional, level.” The New Yorker says that Sanguinetti’s
“interspecies empathy doesn’t exclude the few humans here, which
makes the work richer, deeper, and all the more moving.”

Alessandra Sanguinetti was born in New York City in 1968 and is of
Italian descent. She was brought up in Argentina and currently
lives and works in Buenos Aires and New York; she joined Magnum
Photos in 2007.
Her work has been seen at Yossi Milo Gallery (2004 and 2006); the
Museum of Modern Art, NY; the International Center of Photography
in “Ecotopia: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video”
(Sept. 2006-Jan., 2007); at the Rencontres Internationales de la
Photographie, Arles, France (2005 and 2006); at the Museum of
Modern Art, Buenos Aires (2003); and at El Museo del Barrio
Biennial, New York (2005). The artist’s work is included in the
collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The San
Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the International Center of
Photography, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum
of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires.
She is the recipient of a 2006 Rencontres d’Arles Discovery award,
a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and a Hasselblad Grant. A book
entitled On the Sixth Day was recently published by Nazraeli Press.

The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia
University
1161 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY tel. 212-854-4437 fax
212-854-8479
Contact: Allison Jeffrey 212 854-8942, [email protected]
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