Alessia is a maker of moving images. Originally from Italy, she works in Santa Cruz, CA. In her films she explores matters of loss and grief through the mix of different mediums; stop motion animation, fibers and live action film (both digital and analog).
When we encounter a dead animal, our response can quickly go from “aaww” to “eew”; how does our relationship with the other species change in the moment we find out that its body is not alive?
One day I was reading on the beach and, after a little while, I realized that I was sitting not too far away from the corpse of a sea lion. The wind was not blowing in my direction so I decided to stay, acknowledging its existence as a decomposing body. Later on, a young woman walked by and I noticed her reaction to the sight of the creature; at first she reacted with surprise and she smiled - probably thinking that she had spotted a live animal - then the reaction on her face changed in horror and she turned and walked away.
With my work, I want to interrogate the way we look at animals once the value we see in them - the spectacle of megafauna, the cuteness of cubs and puppies, the commodification of toy pets - is gone. I want people to feel the uncanny and relate to the complexity of life by rejecting a binary understanding of the world. With my work I want to communicate to the viewers that our understanding of life can be incomplete and that we can learn to accept this. By recognizing that the idea that humanity has all the answers is anthropocentric, patriarcal and oppressing, I seek a different way of looking at non-human animals, one that acknowledges the animal as an individual, recognizes its suffering and doesn’t look away.