Alessandra Sanguinetti: “This work is an ode, a love letter, to the often-overlooked rural towns south of Buenos Aires”
Alessandra Sanguinetti shares her new work, Aerolites, commissioned in partnership between Magnum Photos and Obscura. The collection is created as a series of NFTs that are being minted to the blockchain today.
"“These towns look like aerolites, pieces of inhabited stars that have fallen in the field. Upon arrival, it could be said that we re-entered the town that we have just left behind, and that the trip was an illusion.” "
- Ezequiel Martinez Estrada, “X-Ray of the Pampas”, 1933
The first collection of newly commissioned work in the partnership between Magnum Photos and Obscura is released today. Alessandra Sanguinetti‘s Aerolites has been created as a collection of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) that will be minted for collectors today. Here, we share the photos from the project and an extract from an interview between Sanguinetti and Obscura Journal Contributor Danielle Ezzo. Together they discuss Sanguinetti’s relationship with Buenos Aires and her approach to creating Aerolites.
To learn more about the Magnum Photos and Obscura commissions, and see the list for future releases, please click here.
“This work is an ode, a love letter to the often-overlooked rural towns south of Buenos Aires. I’ve always worked around these towns, but have never focussed on them specifically. These towns were always a backdrop to another story. So this time, I am making the towns and their people the focus of the story,” says Sanguinetti. “For years I always wanted to create a body of work about these towns. They are often overlooked and when you pass through them it looks like nothing is happening. If you stop and look, and wait long enough, so many mysterious stories reveal themselves.”
DE: Buenos Aires is where you spent most of your childhood, but in this work there’s a sense of nostalgia or longing for the countryside, the land and animals. What significance does the land hold for you?
AS: My life as a kid in the city is a blur with few salient specifics, but my time in the countryside is very vivid. The farm was where I was free, where I spent hours on my own, just observing—watching how people deal with animals, how animals were with each other, reading, making stuff, taking long walks in the fields on my own, just daydreaming. It’s still that way now.
There’s also the severity of the landscape. The flat monotonous horizon sets everything that moves into relief. There’s nowhere to hide. The constant cycle of caring for and slaughtering animals. The planting and harvesting doesn’t let you forget for an instant how strange and fragile life is. Even with everything out in the open that way, it’s still mysterious for me. It looks like a simple place for an outsider, but it’s not. There’s so much going on, so much history, so many secrets. That’s why I keep going back—it never feels like I can totally convey it.
DE: What was the concept going into the Obscura commission, with the constraint of time being a factor, and how did you plan for it?
AS: As soon as I received the commission, I knew I wanted to go back to the towns I’ve always worked in, in the Province of Buenos Aires and have them be the main subject, instead of the backdrop for another story. Time constraints and deadlines are good for me. They make me work more intensively and avoid overthinking or procrastination, so that was the attractive side of the commission as well.
DE: Do you feel like releasing this collection, an extension of your previous bodies of work, is informed or influenced by the blockchain and the NFT space?
AS: Well, I wouldn’t have made this work without the commission (It was always in the back of my mind but I would have kept postponing it.) , and this was possible because of the NFT space.
To read the full interview please click here.
To view the full collection of Alessandra Sanguinetti’s Obscura Magnum Commission, visit: http://obscura.io