Flattened in Time and Space
368 Pages / 14.8 x 21 cm
500 copies / Soft cover
Text by Ilaria Speri
Design by Federico Barbon
Published in June 2020
Flattened in Time and Space is a visual family novel, the plot of which develops around the figure of Concetto, born in Scicli, Sicily, in 1921. The photographs, extracted from family albums and re-assembled, were taken by his nephew, Angelo Vignali, and by friends and family over a span of fifty years. Mixing the photographs into a new sequence, FITAS disrupts a chronicle organised around linear time, depriving the viewer of space-time coordinates and collapsing the identity of those who took the photographs, giving birth to a new narrative. FITAS is a portrait drawn from a the relationships between people, places, and events that animated the stage of Concetto's life. A succession of glances overlook the countryside: the abandoned farms and petrol stations, the Sicilian dusty hills, the sky and the Mediterranean Sea. The magnificence of the monuments, which we observe only a moment later eroded by time, abandoned. Only a few background characters punctuate the landscape, up to that domestic interior, always the same, yet different in the most minute details: the house Concetto himself built and where he still lives today.
Is there a 'familiar lexicon' in the way we look at and represent the places and people we hold dear - our history?
The path taken by Vignali in the construction of this project - which sees its first and complete expression in the form of the book – finds an essential key to reading in the studies of the American psychologist James Hillman (Healing Fiction, 1983), regarding the role of fiction in psychotherapy. Narrating one's story is a creative process, a digestive operation, in which the individual observes and reorganizes the unfolding of the time of his life - the emanation of memories, dreams and fantasies. Vignali thus rewrites the plot, revises the past, until it finds a new internal coherence: he recognizes himself using transcription (humanity's guarantee of memory and eternity). In this context, the identity of the protagonist, his face, is only the epilogue of the journey.
Best photobook 2020
Photobookstore - Vanessa Winship’ list
Photobookstore - Tim Carpenter’ list
MACK First Book Award - Finalist
Fiebre Dummy Award - Finalist
Press - Review