The most talked-about photo show of the new season—Terry Richardson’s numbingly narcissistic accumulation of cumshots and blowjobs at Deitch—can’t exactly bask in the attention. It’s gotten such bad word of mouth that, if it were a play, it would have closed already. The week’s most positive buzz focused elsewhere, primarily on Alessandra Sanguinetti’s solo debut at Yossi Milo, a gallery that has made the sympathetic investigation of children’s fantasy lives something of a specialty. Sanguinetti, a New Yorker who divides her time between here and Buenos Aires, worked with two pre-adolescent girls whose games became increasingly theatrical and inspired in the course of a five-year collaboration. Cousins who live on farms in the remote Argentine countryside, Guille and Belinda share a charming, fragile intimacy that’s at once spritely and quite serious. The girls’ odd-coupledom—one’s a butterball, the other a bean stalk—gives the work a comic edge, but their imagination and their circumstances lead them inevitably toward childhood’s (and friendship’s?) end. They cling to one another under stormy skies, float fully dressed in a stream like miniature Ophelias, and dress up like models, mothers, and maidens. But even if their bubble of dreams is about to burst, in Sanguinetti’s pictures they remain funny, spirited little girls at play. No wonder everyone wants to join them.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 14, 2004