Sara Munari – Dolphins Sleep with Open Eyes

Sara Munari

Dolphins Sleep With Open Eyes


Zoos are born with informative intent to know and understand animal breeds, otherwise unattainable. I wonder today which is the sense of life of an animal that is born, grows and dies in a cage. Strange form of entertainment for humans, or thin pretense of superiority? Whatever the motivation, certainly it does not justify the existence of these places, where nothing is taught and deserts the compassion that makes us human beings.

Every day, through media and advertising, we are fueled by fictitious emotion performing our function purifying and giving complete solution to our real lives, but the rules of the game are understood and accepted by players and spectators: it is fiction.

For none of these animals the show will never end, under the distracted people’s eyes, walking through the cages with bars and glass, expecting to see an event, so it was worth to buy a ticket: Big Brother fee.

Where the animal is missing or holed up, to evade the human curiosity, here is the puppet that takes over, the cup, the granite statue of the animal that is representation.

A representation in the representation: who is alive seems dead, who is fake should look alive. The work consists in 40 diptychs. Pictures are taken in: Berlin, Madrid, Zaragoza, Cordoba, Seville, Bergamo, Milan.

What I would do is to continue my work with other theme parks, and represent men’s relationship with amusement parks (Gardaland-disneyland-Eurodisney, etc.).

I did this work in Europe, now, if possible I would like to continue in America, and in Asia, to understand the different relationships depending on the origin of the people.




Born in Milan in 1972. Lives and works in Lecco, Italy.

She studied photography by Isfav in Padua, where she graduated as a professional photographer. She opens in 2001 THE STATION PHOTO, Studio and Gallery for photo exhibitions and courses. A Professor of History of Photography at the Italian Institute of Photography in Milan and visual communication and photography technique at Isgmd of Lecco, and from 2005 to 2008 she was artistic director of Leccoimmagifestival for which organizes exhibitions of photography by great Italian and young photographers from all over Europe. She participated in 2008 to award San Fedele. She has exhibited in Italy and Europe in galleries and museums of contemporary art. Her work is part of the National photographic archives of Castellanza and the archive of Tor Vergata University in Rome.

In 2009 she released his first book “Ocean India.” In 2011 the second one called “Non solo badanti”. She is portfolio reader in National Competitions and Festivals.


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Sara Munari


1 Responses to “Sara Munari – Dolphins Sleep with Open Eyes”

  • Hmmm…. this essay has been up for how long and not a single comment?

    Zoos are hard places for me, too, but then I live and work in environments where I see wild animals regularly. Moose and bunny rabbits stroll through my yard on a regular basis. I just returned from a two and a half week shoot where, before you pee, you have to take a few seconds to do a 360 degree scan to make sure no polar bear is creeping up on you.

    Most people don’t get that kind of experience. They see their wild animals mostly in a zoo, or not at all. And it frequently happens up here that an orphaned cub or baby walrus is rescued and to save its life it goes to a a zoo in another state or country. But zoo’s should be built in such ways as to maximize the animal’s comfort and living space, or not built at all.

    I am touched by the juxtaposition of animals in the zoo and the material characterizations of the same – some powerful pairings there – more about human longing to be part of the natural world our species originated in but which most of us have been driven so far from by our own material success.

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