Angelo Vignali – Flattened in Time and Space
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.