Alessandro Vicario: In the Secrecy of a Home

9 April - 24 May 2024

Nel segreto di una casa (In the Secrecy of a Home), 2024 is the unedited series by Alessandro Vicario that will be on show from 9 April to 24 May 2024. The exhibition is one of the official events of Milano Art Week.

The exhibition, curated by Elena Carotti, presents 7 unedited works out of the 18 that make up the final series of the trilogy Frammenti domestici (Domestic Fragments), 2004-2024. In this last work, Alessandro Vicario confronts himself with places unknown to him, belonging to strangers, whereas in the two previous series he measured himself first against the home of his paternal grandmother (Frammenti domestici tra memoria e oblio / Domestic Fragments Between Memory and Oblivion, 1999-2001) and then against the home of the great writer Lalla Romano (Paesaggi d'assenza. Sulle tracce di Lalla Romano / Landscapes of Absence. In the Footsteps of Lalla Romano, 2004), which he used to visit.


Every house, argues Mario Praz, "is a 'museum of the soul', an 'archive of experiences'", and not just a place to live. But how to photograph a house full of layered memories? How to bring to light the history contained in the things, in the objects, in the traces left in a now deserted house?


After overcoming his initial disorientation, Alessandro Vicario began to tune into the spaces that had no emotional connection for him. He grasps the universal dimension of these traces of lived life and, without succumbing to facile sentimentality, begins to photograph details of the environment and furnishings in real size (1:1). Sometimes the subjects are unrecognisable, sometimes they are, but it is precisely this apparent coldness of the photographic reproduction that makes the signs of these distant lives universal, transfiguring them.


As Gigliola Foschi writes in the critical text: Vicario's "approach", which captures the objects of the house in a frontal, intimate and at the same time objective manner, evokes a sense of mystery. Isolated from their context, the elements he photographs are removed, as it were, from the continuum of reality, into a suspended, anachronistic time.

Here, the past reappears in a whisper, as a series of trace fragments that the viewer is invited to reassemble like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. In their concise, smear-free precision, the author's images, rather than 'closing' with a banal description, paradoxically invite us to imagine more, to transform these signs into universal memories. Everything appears clear and obvious before our eyes, but at the same time these visual fragments become imprints of intimacy, similar to hints that refer back to stories of lived life, of which we recover the inkling, the humanity.


To accompany the exhibition, ELR Edizioni Le Ricerche in Locarno has published a photobook with a critical text by Gigliola Foschi in a limited edition of 300 copies. The graphic design is by Massimo&Fiameni Design and the printing is done by M&FD.

The photobook presents the complete series of 18 images of which Lab 1930. Fotografia contemporanea holds the exclusive rights.


Studio Berné. Servizi per la fotografia e l'arte contemporanea in Legnano and Laboratorio De Stefanis srl in Milan are the technical sponsors of the exhibition.