This project has been marinating for a while. It began after she left us. When we were left to clean out her apartment. Sara, Timmy, Alicia, Peaches, me. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Since that time (just about three years ago this month), it has been a long and painful process of dealing with what was left behind. If you've ever been in this position — that of cleaning out the home of a lost loved one — you know the piercing awkwardness of this position.
But we held on to her things, suspended in that guilt and need. Overexposed to all of it. Because we wanted to keep her close. The clothing, shedded skins of her, infused with memories. The candles and perfumes. The books and shoes. I still have her jacket hanging in my closet. We kept these bits and pieces. Dusty invocations.
Francesca was a very private person and fiercely independent. Alive, she never would have let me go through her stuff. In fact, she likely never would've agreed to this project. But when I looked through her work, all of it neatly organized and packed away, I became aware of this other Francesca. The artist in her was cataloging herself the way that artists do. Investigating her life and keeping it with her as she moved from house to house, from city to city.
This other Francesca — the one who isn't here anymore, the one who shows up in my dreams in calm river light — I am fairly certain that she approves of this project.
In her work, I see reflections of strength and anger. The kind of loneliness you feel when you are surrounded by life and other people. Her dark moodiness. Her distinctive pout. I see her fearlessness. I see the way in which she was unapologetically herself.
Frenchie gave me one of the most important complements of my life. She read my undergraduate thesis which was a zine of prose and poems and images from old vintage textbooks and she really liked it. She didn't dole out a lot of complements, so I was extra impacted by this. She said she wanted to work with me sometime, suggesting that we do a project together. We never did. So this project is for her, for us, for me, and for everyone who loves her.
This is just the beginning, there are so many more photos to archive. Stay tuned.
— Maria DeLorenzo