Verzasca Foto Festival Awards - 2019 Nera Prize
The rage of devotion
Some time ago I decided to change my life in the most extraordinary way possible. I looked in and without intending it I remembered the phrase with which my mother said goodbye the last time I saw her at sixteen years old - "I wish you well, and believe me I hope you´ll become strong and brave, so you can be merciless when the time comes to destroy your body and crush your soul the next time we see each other"- After an overwhelming emotional breakdown, I started this series of images intermingling with pictorial canvases and photographs of my family archive to impel the observer to immerse themselves in my psychology.
«Some time ago I decided to change my life in the most extraordinary way possible. I looked inward and unintentionally remembered the phrase my mother told me the last time I saw her when I was sixteen years old - "I wish you well, and believe me, I hope you’ll become strong and brave, so you can be merciless when the time comes to destroy your body and crush your soul the next time we see each other”. After an overwhelming emotional breakdown, I began this series of images intermingling with pictorial canvases and photographs from my family archive to invite the observers to immerse themselves in my psychology."
"The rage of devotion" is a voodoo project capable of reconstructing a part of the personal and contemporary history of many women willing to emancipate themselves from the social structures that have been predisposed to them. Through the written narrative, exercises of psychological manipulation, counter spells, self-portraits and associations of images developed from adolescence to adulthood, Ambrossio builds a representative narrative of the history of her own madness and the reflection of chaos in her home country.
Her work is the response to a curse by her mother, it implies an extensive investigation of her ancestors and reveals that the women in her family have practiced witchcraft with the desire to harm other women. Witchcraft is also a form of psychological defense against some symbols of machismo, but over time has degraded, in the case of her family ghetto, into madness, depression and schizophrenia. The effects come from the syndrome of the bad mother investigated by psychoanalysis and inherited epigenetically.
In her images women are represented as immortal and immoral beings with supernatural powers, who mark their personal symbolism through masks, eyes, spiders, water, blood and fire. They are intelligent, somber and distressing. While men seem to always be at risk. In Ambrossio’s stories, the feminine is threatening because it seduces and in the poetics of its seduction it devours.