The saliva replaces the seminal fluid in many cultures; it is used as a magical element that can cure and fecundate through single contact. Since it comes from the mouth and preserves vital energy, it is often associated with the essence of breath and the soul. (Craveri E. Michela, Intrecci di culture, 2008).
The photographic archive is an element that always belongs to the past. It grows old with us, it is part of us, but it slowly builds up a gap between our memories and the present time. The inclusion of saliva (a fluid that certifies identity) on the photographic surface creates a layer of contingent ‘presence’, an intimate re-appropriation of the family archive, attempting to ‘cure’ the fallacious nature of memory and ‘fecundate’ its connection with our present time. Saliva is thus the glue that keeps together two dimensions: the motionless time of photography and the fluid contingency of identity.
Federica Landi is an artist working with photography, a freelance curator and an organiser of exhibitions. Her work has been exhibited in the UK, Germany, Italy, Portugal and USA. She runs Peaches & Cream, an annual photography competition, exhibition and award. She is also part of the London lens-based, artist-led project Uncertain States. Since 2012 she has been working for the photographic agency Millennium Images, with a primary responsibility for selling fine art photographs to collectors.