Francesca Magnani’s street diptychs build a photographic bridge across the two cities she calls home
This series spans the course of 20 years, during which I have walked and portrayed the streets of New York, yet always a part of me still is in my hometown of Padua in Italy. I have called my project Duplicittà (duplicity.) I‘ve had Padua in the back of my mind when I was in New York, and vice-versa, as if one could change a rearview mirror and set it to the other place.
I’ve always lived alone, so I was the only “witness” of myself here or there, and I wanted to express that. As an Italian woman, moving to New York educates you to get used to a new beauty. For a street photographer, the street is already a form of stage, but I also look at real performances — dancers, acrobats, and the religious devotees of Saint Anthony of Padua, who walk through the village each year on June 13th.
In a few pairings, you see Piazza della Frutta with Union Square — the only New York location that, with its Upstate Farmer’s Market, and as a gathering place of many friends, has always reminded me of an Italian piazza. Padua and New York become a polarity of two physical places, but also two states of mind, and two moods.