Self-censorship (and freedom)
The anthem of the Self is the anthem of a hidden side. This is one of thefundamental principles of archetypal psychology. This means that our essence and our character can never be completely seen and revealed. Sabrina Maragnani’s self-censorship work starts precisely from the need to create a photographic image that takes into account the need for hiding, to bring out the identity of the person in a real and not stereotyped way. The faces and bodies portrayed always carry a load of emotions, feelings, and moods. However, these human components remain wrapped in a veil of mystery, the riddle can never be completely solved. Photography thus becomes an act of resistance, resistance to banality, speed and bulimia of contemporary images that continually bombard our eyes through social networks. Self-censorship in this sense must not be thought of as an imposition suffered by immortalized subjects, it is rather a free choice, a need for autonomy concerning the homologation and visual standardization that is required of the bodies, commodified and manipulated by the capitalist discourse.
Each shot takes a long time, there is no rush or desire to appear, there is only the desire to try to tell authentically and honestly the unveiling of an emotion, a feeling or a state of mind. Analog photography by Sabrina Maragnani is patient. To be grasped and savored, the truth can never be completely naked, it needs veils and filters, masks and concealments, perhaps because the truth is never one, there are many truths. Self-censorship, therefore, means taking care of one’s freedom, without being conditioned by those visual paradigms that would all like us to be similar to a single body model. In this way, the possibility of bringing out something unexpected and mysterious comes alive. Black and penetrating eyes launch a defiant look towards the viewer, but the mouth is blindfolded. There remains an underlying ambivalence, something indecipherable that lies on the ridge between the playful and the serious, everyone will have to insert their interpretation.
A white veil covers the entirety of the face, below you can see a detached, almost glacial expression. In this case, the need is that of not communicating particular emotions, almost an exercise in defense of one’s inner world, sacred and inviolable, an act of pure and simple freedom. A black horizontal bar covers the eyes, a dark line runs vertically across the face. An ancient need for silence and closure seems to emerge from the composition. There is no desire to expose oneself, to give oneself outside. Your intimacy is something secret, to be defended and protected. In the age of infinite reproducibility of technological images, something silent and mysterious wants to resist. Taking a picture means taking time, observing, being patient, stopping, going around the subject calmly and with dedication, shooting is only the final part of the work, something precious that cannot be trivially wasted.
The looks are often silent and ambivalent, there is always something unfathomable and irreducible, a sort of personal essence that can never be fully defined descriptively. The soul is made of a mixture, a mixture of emotions above all, which are embodied on the faces and battle in the bodies of mortal beings. Photography then becomes the place for the appearance and manifestation of uncertain and ambiguous, enigmatic and seductive expressions. Human complexity, in this case, the amazing complexity of the feminine, delicately emerges in all its extraordinary beauty and richness. There are no models to follow, but only traces of life to which to leave space and to which to give formal dignity.
Sabrina Maragnani’s photographs are places of freedom, where the subject decides to show himself in the way he deems most appropriate, images far from artificial forcing and close to the most authentic codes of the soul.