Bussanich COPPIE

"Hell is others," said Jean-Paul Sartre. But not for her, who explores them, photographs them, films them with the video camera forcing them to reflect, discover themselves and unveil through the eyes. Paths of identity preferred by Antonella Bussanich, Florentine artist, 47 years, Istrian father and many trips behind him until the landing in Paris in 1986. From September he returned to live in Florence, commuting with France. A return that saw among other things, a self-portrait of his enter in December at the Uffizi Gallery: a video, which revolutionizes the collection of portraits of artist wanted by Leopoldo de 'Medici .... and his latest work couples?"I entered the homes of 13 couples, spontaneously. I filmed their daily gestures and then asked them to face each other, to look each other in the eyes, to get in touch, to talk to each other with their eyes. Not an easy thing to do. And I portrayed them with a round mirror in my hand, which each one presents almost as a gift and in which the face of the other is reflected"They seem almost like madallions, intense cameos. Why this introspective exploration of his own on the "couple" is the couple an archetype, it is the self and the other that complement each other. The eye that looks emits powerful signals, it goes beyond appearance. It is a way of discovering oneself, a way of laying oneself bare. And the gaze marks the bond with others. It is a very strong experience, which two strangers cannot sustain. Everything stems from the relationship with the other. I've always been interested in my eyes and my gaze as a means of entering into the other"...

Mara Amorevoli

Excerpt from the article La Repubblica 5 April 2011

Antonella Bussanich’s powerful work “Couples”, first presented in 2011, springs from her acutely perceptive gaze. Her wide-angle camera slowly takes in the homes of the couples she has chosen for her study – from France and Italy, two countries she knows well - gently yet confidently picking up the spontaneous normality of everyday life. A computer, a bookshelf, plants being watered, bathrooms, kitchens, getting dressed… the result is a series of stills from real life, silent but redolent with the sounds of daily living - even the noise of the traffic in the street below. She shows the couples’ slippers, photos and details of paintings - all the things people surround themselves with. The artifice of an image reflected in a mirror signals her silent presence. Her video camera captures everything, a keen yet kindly eye, unobtrusively scrutinizing the everyday gestures that give meaning to relationships. When the couples caress one another with their gaze - their ‘inner eye’ - smiles broaden, serious faces harden. Sentiment and physicality are the realms of Antonella Bussanich. Her work gives them symbiotic form, revealing the poetic behind her subjects’ gestures. The images speak of the impalpable weight borne by the person ‘sustaining’ the partner’s knowing gaze or catch pensive moments, face resting on a hand. They are hands we all ‘recognize’. They are the hands drawn by Dürer in his detailed studies or the graceful lines of Botticelli. Bussanich’s hands speak of a willingness to reach out to the other in an act of giving. Revealing mirrors, they are like glass balls reflecting a concentrate of emotions and sentiments, a distillate of the ties that bind. An ingenious concept, masterfully delivered as if by a benevolent demiurge, ‘Couples’ celebrates unspoken depths of feelings whose representation reassures not only those photographed but also their viewers.


Giovanna Giusti

Uffizi Museum, modern and contemporary section