In the series ‘Villa Argentina’, photographer Aruna Canevascini presents an intimate view of domestic life, influenced by the relationship she has with her mother and their Iranian heritage. Having moved to Southern Switzerland when she was just a year old, Canevascini describes her Iranian culture as a ‘ghost of a memory’.
Through ‘Villa Argentina’, Canevascini traces her history and identity, translated and liberated through the setting of the home. The series establishes itself as a study on visual representations of belonging. Canevascini captures herself, her mother and their things in their most familiar surroundings–at home. The theme of place remains ambiguous throughout the series, with references to Dutch Renaissance painting and the misnomer of ‘Argentina’. This presents a sense of fluidity and the notion of home as a space for uninhibited expression, which enhances the wonder granted through an invitation into a someone’s home–Canevascini teases and confuses the viewer with arrangements of objects that are sculptural and poetic. Providing a contextual backdrop for the study, Canevascini explains: “For us, home was—and is—a theater where we could freely express and shape our own identity.”