When you look at the work of Rosana Simonassi, you feel the amount of energy she has put into her work radiating off the photographs. Simonassi is careful with the little details that help pull together the end result into a stunning masterpiece. There is certainly no exception for Reconstrucctión. Simonassi made a modern day view of older crime scene photographs of female corpses using her own body as a stand-in. Flipping through the pages, Simonassi’s audience cannot help, but feel sorrowful for the victims, and at the same time engrossed by how they are presented.
Receiving the book feels almost as if you have bought it off the dark web. Opening it out of a paper-thin white envelope, the cover itself had a gritty touch to it, almost as if giving a warning of what was behind the title. The actual print title on the front looks as if a sticker was placed on top and now has been plead off, revealing Reconstrucctión underneath; the perfect look for the whole experience. The first opening of the pages and flipping through cannot be done too quickly, because then you’ll miss the real morbid beauty. Ever have the experience of reading an article about cases online or something of a graphic nature, and it contains pictures that are blurred out with the phrase “WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. SHOW IMAGE?” giving you the option to click and reveal? The setup of photographs gives off a “YES, SHOW IMAGE” vibe.
These fragile self-portraits sincerely catch an eye in multiple ways. Some have bold color with a flash, some black and white, but all have a texture that comes from a CSI unit sweeping the area. Holding the pages separate for too long will make you feel as though the page would become damaged or that the sense of overstating welcome will wash over you. It is also enlightening to see information of each woman she copied in the photographs on a more personal level. These photographs, although hidden unless the wanting is strong, are not for an average viewer. They still strike a chord deep within.
Simonassi sheds light on so many thoughts, whether the intention was there or not. Sometimes you have an itch you resist scratching until the pain and the urge builds to a point where you cannot fight it anymore and you have to cave. Reconstrucctión has many itches that some readers may be stronger at fighting than others. Simonassi has brought back these women that have left the minds of most of the population, some Jane Does and some with names attached. They remind the audience that even after death, these women still matter. While it is unfortunate that most, if not all, are only known by the original photographs that Simonassi has copied, she has fabricated a beautiful memorial for these women and a beautiful book.
Reviewed by Madison Rich
Photographs by Madison Rich
If you are interested in purchasing Reconstrucctión (printed in an edition of 250 copies),
you can purchase it at the Photo-eye bookstore.