Chairs is a project that I carried out in 2015 visiting the 13 anti-violence charity centres in the Emilia Romagna region. The images of the project portray the interview rooms of these centres, in which the operators meet women who have undergone violence and who on their own initiative have decided to seek assistance. The shots were deliberately taken without human subjects present.
I focused on the armchairs because they suggest dialogue: that which takes place between the operators and the women who turn to these centres, and because they provide an air of homeliness to a place that needs to give a sense of protection.
In these spaces, every aspect is studied to ensure that women who have been subjected to any kind of violence may feel welcome and safe. The furnishings of the interview rooms are arranged in a highly diversified manner, but they all follow an ergonomic logic. A completely white wall, for example, may create anxiety, and so it must be broken up through the use of another colour or elements of furnishing. The layout of the armchairs, the use of chairs or sofas, the upholstery (floral or checked patterns) all communicate a particular sense. There is always a clock present, because right from the beginning it is important for the women to get used to being aware of the time they spend in the room.
The interview rooms are environments full of energy, and bear a sense of their highly tangible silences.