Eleonora Ronconi: Serás mis ojos
Eleonora Ronconi was recently at the Photolucida Reviews with a poignant project about memory, home, and the reconsideration of of time and place. The series, Serás mis ojos, will open in exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography on July 18 and run through September 1, 2019 with a reception on July 18th at 7 PM and a gallery talk on that same evening at 6:15 PM.
The project is about the packing and unpacking of memories, documenting not only the tangible but the ethereal elements of light and time, color, and remembrance. An an immigrant, this project reveals that the search for a new future results in the loss of a past as the artist straddles two worlds in a search for a place to call home.
Eleonora Ronconi was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her work focuses on memory, family and documenting the idea of home, based on her experiences as an immigrant.
After four years in Medical School, she had a change of heart and received a BA in Scientific Literary Translation and Conference Interpreting in her hometown of Buenos Aires. She has taken intensive photographic workshops at Santa Fe Photography Workshops, Maine Media Workshops and LACP among others. Workshop instructors included Sam Abell, Ed Kashi, Mary Ellen Mark and Cig Harvey.
Her work has been selected to participate in several exhibitions at the Triton Museum, Griffin Museum, Building Bridges Art Gallery, Rayko Photo Center, Verve Gallery and San Francisco Arts Commission in the US, Festival de la Luz in Buenos Aires, and Fotofever in Paris among others. Her first solo exhibition was in her native Buenos Aires in 2009.
Her photographs have been featured in publications such as A Photo Editor, Aesthetica Magazine, Le Journal de la Photographie, Palo Alto Weekly, Lenscratch and Fraction Magazine among others. She has resided and worked in California since 1998.
Serás mis ojos
I have lived in California since 1998, but Buenos Aires remains my home – it anchors and feeds my soul.
I’ve always believed that we are three-dimensional beings, constantly living in the context of place. Everything we experience, everything we recall is intractably embedded in a specific node of time and space. In my quest to adapt to living in the United States – in a place that is not mine, I began to lose my connection to myself, my identity and my grounding.
On one of my trips to Buenos Aires in 2011 with my camera in hand, I decided to revisit the place I knew so well and start at the beginning. I photographed things that have been a very important part of my life – family photographs, my first communion dress, my aunt’s house, places I’d visited with my father who passed away when I was a teenager. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces started coming together, re-creating my history and journey, reconstructing a life that had begun to feel no longer in sharp focus.
Just as I started this reconstruction of time and place, my aunt was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. When I told her about my project, she told me how much she enjoyed photography when she was young and with tears in her eyes, she said “I am so happy you decided to photograph your home and collect your memories, because I am losing mine… so go out there, see for me, remember for me, you shall be my eyes”.
I am her eyes now, but also mine. As she slowly forgets who she is, I remember who I am. This journey has allowed me to rediscover the universal quest of self, collecting the pieces that had been left behind and occupying the spaces that had been left vacant.
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