While printing her second book, Águas de Ouro, Sandra Cattaneo Adorno noticed the brightly colored metal plates used to make the press proofs.
The dishes, called “scarti” (Italian for “scraps”), showed photographs of her as monochromes in shocking pink, bright yellow, royal blue, and black, which evoke the spirit of Andy Warhol.
A jolt of recognition runs through her veins when Cattaneo Adorno realizes the curious way in which photography can be used to preserve – and rearrange – fragments of time.
When the pandemic stopped the world in March 2020, Cattaneo Adorno noticed that time has started to move in strange ways, extending to infinity in an unknown afterlife but, if not preserved, disappearing from memory as if it never happened. She began to do it
feeling like she is accumulating “scraps” of time in layers yes. Determined to give shape to this experience, Cattaneo Adorno begins to travel into the inner space of her imagination. Digging into her archive of hers, she has begun to put together otherwise unrelated images to create a series of new works that blur the boundaries of reality and illusion as a metaphor for the mind.
In his third book, Scarti di Tempo, which means both “temporal discrepancy” and “scraps of time”, Cattaneo Adorno proposes a meditation on perception: how we experience time, memory, the connection and the boundaries between reality and illusion. Moving away from representation, the photographs dissolve into abstraction, transporting us to another realm, the one they share with music and poetry.
The book also contains a QR code that links to an original score composed by the artist’s husband, offering the opportunity to experience the superimposed harmony of image and sound. With an introduction by Gueorgui Pinkhassov (born 1969 in Moscow), an award-winning Magnum photographer who has followed international events for four decades.
On April 23, 2022, Cattaneo Adorno debuted her first solo exhibition at the 6th edition of Personal Structures, which runs parallel with the 59th Venice Biennale, until November 27th. Organized by the European Cultural Centre, this year’s theme of “Reflections”
explores both the idea of an image created from a mirrored surface as well as an
idea formed by meditation. Cattaneo Adorno’s work perfectly embodies this duality with its mesmerizing combination of visual splendor and imaginative possibilities. Curated by Women Street Photographers founder Gulnara Samoilova, Cattaneo Adorno’s exhibition features selections from her monographs Águas de Ouro and Scarti di Tempo (Radius Books, 2020 and July 2022).
About the Author
After taking up photography at the age of 60, Sandra Cattaneo Adorno is embarking on a new chapter in life. At a time when many people her age are beginning to slow down, Cattaneo Adorno is creating a new path as an older woman in a culture that venerates youth.
This year she debuts her first solo exhibition at the 6th edition of Personal Structures, which runs parallel with the 59thVenice Biennale, April 23–November 27, 2022. The author of three monographs, The Other Half of the Sky (2019), Águas de Ouro, and Scarti di Tempo (Radius Books, 2020 and 2022), Cattaneo Adorno’s work was also published in Gulnara Samoilova’s landmark book Women Street Photographers (Prestel, 2021) and Portrait of Humanity (Hoxton Mini Press, 2019). Cattaneo Adorno received the 2021 and 2020 Julia Margaret CameronAward, the 2020 International Photography Award, the 2019 Portrait of Humanity Award in collaboration with Magnum Photos, and was a 2019 National Geographic 100 finalist. She has exhibited work at Somerset House, London; Photoville, Brooklyn; Miami StreetPhotography Festival; Italian Photo Festival, Venice; Le Prix de laPhotographie de Paris ( PX3 ); and Women Street Photographers Exhibition in Paris, among many others.