On the Sixth Day
Alessandra Sanguinettis vivid photographs depicting the coexistence of people and animals might at first sight seem brutal, images to be viewed quickly and erased from the memory. But that would be not only impossible but also a great loss, for here is an arrestingly honest portrayal of the relationship between man and beast as the one raises the other for the ultimate sacrifice. These are not animals endowed with human qualities; they are someones livelihood, their means of survival. Sanguinetti took these pictures in a province of Buenos Aires. Here, by roadsides, in fields and in woods, she observed the rituals and traditions of the local farmers whose lives interweave with a host of animals rabbits, horses, pigs, geese, lambs, cows, chickens caught in the cycle that is life and death. The work in On the Sixth Day goes beyond straight documentary practice and evokes an intimacy that, confounding our sensibilities, it is a privilege to share. With an essay by Robert Blake, Chair of the General Studies Program at the International Center of Photography, New York.