I Made Them Run Away


“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?”.”

Even after having been through difficult relationships, Giulia – my mother – has never lost her desire to create the perfect family, nor her great fear for loneliness. She found herself living in years when the first websites for meetings had begun to take hold and she decided to find her soulmate through this way. This brought her to know, and to make me know, dozens of different men, some of whom have lived in our home.

At first sight, these men appeared very gentle and caring, but shortly their behaviors changed and they turned out for what they really were; what they wanted was clear, of course the family was not part of their interests. Our family albums are peppered with torn photographs – the leftovers of failed relationships. These missing figures loom larger than their outlines, affecting my wider perception of men and relationships. The more something’s absent, the more we tend to feel its presence – like a tongue that can’t stop touching the space where a tooth should be.

I Made Them Run Away is a multi-layered story weaving together archive material and photographs with texts written by my mother. It brings together past and present and different points of view to investigate the triangle relationship between me, my mother and the “man”.