I Made Them Run Away

(2017-2019)
Photography, Archive Material, Text

“One night I went home very excited and after having dinner with my grandmother I went upstairs – where my mother and I used to live – with the intention of going to sleep. As I walked in, I saw my mother and a man sitting on the couch watching television. Happy to meet someone new I started dancing and singing in front of the TV for about 10 minutes, as long as the man finally interrupted my performance saying “It’s late, I’d better go.” Once greeted the man, my mother comes back in the house yelling at me: “How could you possibly make them all run away?”.”

I Made Them Run Away is a multi-layered story weaving together family images and photographs with texts written by the artist’s mother. It brings together memories from the past and present feelings to investigate the dynamics of contemporary relationships – the need for attention, the expectations that cause disillusionment, insecurity and judgment. Central themes include love, fantasy, illusion, and identity. Shifting between the different points of view, Zanin depicts the recurring complicated triangle relationship between she, her mother and the “man” – mostly represented as an absence in the work.

Fantasizing about a “man” she was never able to keep, the artist’s mother wrote her thoughts and desires in a diary entitled Letters to a Man I Have Never Had. The poetical and wistful writing, clash with the torn family images, of which her mother has preserved only her figure, or the one of the daughter, tearing off all her ex-boyfriends, creating objects saturated with anger and loneliness. Every other picture is the artist’s inner reconstruction and expression of past feelings that become apparent in the present. I Made Them Run Away is a dialogue between a mother and a daughter in two different moments of time and explore opposing feelings such as compassion and anger.