Issue 36 Friendship Winter 2009/10

Artist Project / Guille and Belinda

Alessandra Sanguinetti

If, as Aristotle has it, the purest form of friendship is that between two people who are themselves truly good, then friendship between young children—before the vicissitudes of life begin to wear away at their inherent optimism, cheerfulness, and decency—must be counted among its most ideal incarnations. The artist Alessandra Sanguinetti began photographing Guillermina and Belinda, the two girls in the following suite of images, when they were pre-adolescents. Young cousins from the countryside outside Buenos Aires, where the artist lived for more than thirty years before returning to her native New York City in 2003, the two have grown up together as best friends under Sanguinetti’s gaze—through their teens into adulthood; from school to love affairs to marriage to motherhood. At once a portrait of inner life, a document of external circumstances, and a meditation on where the two spheres touch, Sanguinetti’s project details the constancy of a friendship against a background of change.

Alessandra Sanguinetti is a Brooklyn-based photographer. Her books On the Sixth Day (2005) and the upcoming The Adventures of Guille and Belinda (2010) are published by Nazraeli Press. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Geographic Magazine Grant for Photography, and the Hasselblad Foundation Grant. A solo exhibition of her work is currently on view at Kulturhuset in Stockholm.

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