A site-specific installation in the gardens of San Servolo Island introduces the visitors in the past life of the island, as it hosted the Venetian mental hospital. The Norwegian artist Anne-Karin Furunes had the opportunity to study the photographic archives of the hospital and select the photographs that she would like to work on and show in the installation.
Anne-Karin Furunes’ artistic work is based on the analysis of historical photo archives. The archive photos, generally portraits of unnamed people, are digitally processed putting in evidence, in their grey, expressionless faces printed on
paper, traces of feelings and experiences which the subjects were denied of when alive. The wrinkles of the face are digged in order to show a violated identity, which has often been lost, sometimes wiped out by society or disease, but is still seen in the dignity of the posture, the evasive look, the neat hairdressing.
The installation is placed in a closed inner garden of the island, enclosed on three sides by high walls, where you find the works. Realized in aluminum panels, the surface perforated by thousands of holes of different sizes, they appear
among trees and bushes and disappear after few steps.
Light passes through the holes on the surface and let recompose the picture only when the meeting between image and viewer look happens: and then the portraits of
the insane women, alone and socially awkward, reveal their appearance, telling to the visitor of a daily life of pain and segregation.