Photograph by Alessandra Sanguinetti of a person in a flat field holding a stick towards a dark pig facing them

A new show reflects Alessandra Sanguinetti’s empathetic lens

The Sixth Day includes three bodies of work made by the Argentinian American photographer over the last 25 years

Webber Gallery is bringing together three of Alessandra Sanguinetti’s photography projects in an exhibition space for the first time. Images from Some Say Ice, the Adventures of Guille and Belinda, and On the Sixth Day – which seemingly gave rise to the exhibition name, The Sixth Day – are on show at the LA branch of the gallery, her first solo show in the city.

The projects embody Sanguinetti’s immersive approach, often zeroing in on hyper-local narratives and characters to articulate profound stories that transcend their specific geographical origins. The Argentinian American photographer has famously dedicated long periods to several series, allowing her to tease out these unexpectedly poignant tales. Speaking to Creative Review about her process in 2021, Sanguinetti said: “I think it would be interesting to follow almost anybody through time as long as you pay enough attention.”

Photograph by Alessandra Sanguinetti showing a pig eating corn off the ground with a chicken facing it
Top: Enchanting the Pig – Embrujando a la Chancha, 1999; Above: Untitled (Pig, Corn, Hen), 1999. All images: © Alessandra Sanguinetti
Photograph by Alessandra Sanguinetti of a grey spotted horse looking through a barn door stood next to a table
El Tordillo, 2001

Set on a farm in Argentina, On the Sixth Day transforms livestock into a cast of characters, blending biblical cues and Orwellian perspectives to show just how fluid – and often conflicting – our attitudes towards animals can be.

Her empathetic lens carried through to another project made on the same farm, this time following the relationship between two cousins, Guille and Belinda, over the course of ten years. Like On The Sixth Day, the series straddles the tension between dreams and reality, as one gives way to the other.

Photograph by Alessandra Sanguinetti of two girls buried in dirt with only their heads showing as they look above them
Time Flies (Unearthed), 2005
Photograph by Alessandra Sanguinetti of two girls with a slightly sombre expression wearing red jumpers and facing the camera
The Cousins – Las Primas, 2004

Some Say Ice, her most recently published body of work, began in 2014 in a small Wisconsin town. With an austere, noir-ish edge, the project feels closer to an investigative operation compared to the others, particularly considering the impetus that brought Sanguinetti to that town: Wisconsin Death Trip, a macabre book of photographs taken at the end of the 19th century by Charles Van Schaick, was also set in the town of Black River Falls.

All three bodies of work in the exhibition have been published or reprinted by Mack in the last few years, and the book publisher is closely involved here again. The show’s launch coincides with the opening of a new reading room and cultural hub at the gallery in partnership with Mack, called 939, which “aims to introduce new and classic titles in an accessible and open gallery environment”.

Black and white photograph by Alessandra Sanguinetti of a crop of a horse's belly and legs with muddy fur
Big Jake, Poynette, WI, 2014
Photograph by Alessandra Sanguinetti of a red and black butterfly on top of a grass-lined puddle, forming a right-angle with its wings
Untitled (Butterfly in Puddle)
Photograph by Alessandra Sanguinetti of three girls facing a wood panelled house posing with their arms in the air and casting shadows onto the side of the building
Amira, Adonia, and Abriana, Black River Falls, 2019
Photograph by Alessandra Sanguinetti of a person with dark cropped hair wearing a striped t-shirt and very long pointed nails, holding a purple petal to their lips
Petals – Petalos, 2002
Photograph by Alessandra Sanguinetti showing a yellow duckling in a cardboard box looking out over farm dogs and chickens in a yard
Untitled (Duck in truck), 2002

The Sixth Day is on display at Webber Gallery, Los Angeles until October 21;;