Text Again He Holds Me by the end

Again He Holds Me by the Hand /2016/

The series ‘Again He Holds Me by the Hand’ pose a reflection on the presence and absence of homosocial intimacy and homoerotic gestures in photographic archives, as testimony, and maybe involuntary records, of not-normative way of feeling and desiring, in a prohibitionist past.

The project offer an insights on the edge between hidden and unveiled, evidence and potentiality, which is matured along the selection of photographic documents from the archive sources, mediated through my queer gaze. This performance of selection have composed the foundational research of the project, which after the identification of a series, has progressively been focused on two photographs, one coming from the Library of Congress and the second one from the Florida Archives, which later have been processed and transformed in the main body of work of the installation.

The intervention on this appropriated documents has been of a physical nature, through the fragmentation of the photograph and the detachment of one of its part, as through the employment of different materials, all addressed to queering them, placing in evidence for the viewer the homoerotic feature.

Doing so, re-contextualizing and altering the original photographs in the exhibition context, I was interested on how the relation sign-object inscribed onto each photographic surface can acquires different connotations from its original function; promoting, through a process of decodification, (and re-mediation) a shifting content of the photographic message indexically inscribed on them and a new historical interpretation.

In dialogue with the work is exhibited a vitrine displaying my personal collection of photographs, coming from vernacular sources which are left untouched. Present in a separate plinth is Walt Whitman’s debated ‘Once I Pass’d Through a Populous City’, from which comes the title of the work. The poem was rediscovered in Whitman’s manuscript, after his death, with a different gender pronoun of the one published.

Courtesy of Library of Congress and Florida State Archives.

Awarded: Metro Imaging Mentorship Prize (2016), Photofusion Prize (2016), Photoworks commendation (2016), nominated for Magnum Graduate Award (2017).


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