2017 - 2019
"So much of dating involves this interplay of empathy and narcissism: you weave an entire narrative out of a tiny amount of information, and then, having created a compelling story about someone, you fall in love with what you’ve created.”
- Kristen Roupenian on the Self-Deception of Dating
I Made Them Run Away is a multi-layered story weaving together family images and photographs with texts written by the artist's mother. It brings together memories from the past and feelings of the present to investigate and document the dynamics of contemporary relationships - the need for attention, the expectations that cause disillusionment, insecurity, and judgment. Central themes include love, fantasy, illusion, and identity. Shifting between the different points of view, Zanin depicts the recurring complicated triangle relationship between her, her mother, and the “man” - mostly represented as an absence in the work.
Fantasizing about a “man” she was never able to keep, the artist’s mother wrote her thoughts and desires in a diary entitled "Letters to a Man I Have Never Had.” The poetical and wistful writing, clash with the torn family images, of which her mother preserves only her figure, or the one of the daughter, tearing off all her ex-boyfriends, creating an object saturated with anger and loneliness. Every other picture is the artist’s inner reconstruction and expression of past feelings that become apparent in the present; documenting the imaginative and the facts. What does it mean for a child to live with so many strangers? How much these past experiences influenced the artist’s current way to relate? The viewer is struck by an ambivalent feeling that is divided between compassion and anger without ever being able to take a position between the two characters.