A scattering of signs and symbols, a figure peering out from behind lacy foliage, the white bellies of fish emerging out of deep, dark blacks. A window seems to surface out of a lake whilst a roofless house sits abandoned by the sea. Capturing a glowing hand outstretched, one wonders, is the artist warning us away or inviting us in?In Memory of the Eyes, Sara Cucè plays with perception and expectation in a series of bold, imaginative black and white photographs. Cucè’s images plumb the depths of the subconscious as much as the everyday life of the street to explore the liminal space of being neither here nor there. She deftly uses double exposures to convey the ways in which migration can be a minefield, balancing the pull of nostalgia against the promise of the new. An Italian photographer based in London, Cucè has written about this battle of dualities, stating, “I wonder if they can live under the same roof, inside the same body, together. In flux.”
Formatted as a visual diary, the work is an evocative look at the poetics of belonging and the challenges of building a new identity on top of the foundation of the old. Each scene feels stitched together of both past and present, via light, shadow, footprints, and reflections. In layering, shifting, and enlarging parts of the image she manages to marry technique to concept. The photographs, rich with metaphor and curiosity, play with the construction of space as much as time. Shadows multiply, patterns repeat, the windows in the lake form a house, a bird flies by; it is almost as if our vision is confronting our memory, asking us to question what it means not only to see a space but to exist within it.