The photographs in Sara Angelucci’s Aviary series (2013) embody many themes of the 19th Century. Born of the domestic realm, they express a conflation of interests where the family photo album, with its role of commemoration, is brought together with the period’s interest in the natural science and spiritual emanations. Made by combining photographs of endangered or extinct North American birds with anonymous cartes-de-visite portraits from the era, they portray creatures about to become ghosts. Of the two extinct birds featured in the series, the plight of the passenger pigeon is particularly telling. Once the most common bird in North America, it was wiped out by 1914 through a combination of brutal over-hunting and habitat destruction. Looking at these images, we think about our treatment of other sentient beings, and begin to imagine what they experience and see.
Sara Angelucci is a Toronto-based visual artist working in photography, video and audio, as well as an educator. She completed her BA at the University of Guelph and her MFA at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She has exhibited her photography across Canada, including exhibitions at the Art Gallery of York University, Le Mois de la Photo in Montreal, Vu in Quebec City, the Toronto Photographers Workshop, the MacLaren Art Centre, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Richmond Art Gallery, and the St. Mary’s University Art Gallery in Halifax. Her work has been included in group shows in the U.S., Europe, and at the Pingyao Biennale in China. She is represented by Vtape (Toronto) and PH Neutro (Verona).