Immunity speaks about the unsustainability of the human development model, of the traces that homo sapiens has brought, brings, and will bring to planet; we are getting closer and closer to the point of no return. It is the very idea of development that is wrong: it does not tend to any balance, but only to constant and incessant economic growth to the detriment of the planet, biodiversity, and man himself. The planet is damaged by those who are supposed to defend it, just as a human body is attacked by its own immune system.
In our view, talking about perennial topicality means talking about our perception of time, history, and human interactions. As we considered this project a collective debate, we’d like to hear more about your ideas as well. What is your perception of perennial topicality? And which element of this idea do you think that the artwork that you presented wants to portray?
In my opinion, talking about perennial topicality means investigating what is intrinsic to man. I am interested in what is inseparable from the human being because it is what distinguishes us from other living species. By connecting with a thread the characteristics that are common to all men and women of every historical era, we will obtain the portrait of homo sapiens. For this project I have chosen the one that is probably one of the most evident, the one that has allowed us to evolve up to today’s situation, but also the one that has the worst consequences, that is the system of human development, the ability to colonize every corner of the earth and to adapt the surrounding environment to our needs. The earth is getting closer and closer to the climatic point of no return and mankind, self-proclaimed governor and guardian of the planet, it does not know how to act. Whatever it does or proposes solves part of the problems but creates others. For this exhibition I tried to use images of the planet taken by satellite where the imprints of mankind’s presence were evident, sometimes changing place and sometimes year, and I put them in sequence so that it would be evident how quickly these changes are made.
We are all the sum of our experiences, which shape our personality and perception. How did your personal history affect the creation of your artworks and in what way did you bring it into your project?
I live across the street from a glacier and every spring when the snow melts, rocks, that were under the ice until the previous year, resurfaces. This is my personal bell that reminds me every day of the consequences of our lifestyle. Among the images, I included rapidly expanding cities like Shanghai, Los Angeles, and cities like Tokyo, that are constantly tearing down and rebuilding buildings. I included intensive farming, hydroelectric dams, expanding deserts, felled forests, coral reefs, and driveways. I also chose Easter Island because, being a closed system, according to many experts has already experienced in a small way what will happen on the whole earth for population increase and decrease, for conflicts and extreme exploitation of resources. Obviously, also images of my home, because I too am part of this system that does not work. Finally, I have added images of the “plastic islands” that are the monument to the waste of our system of development.
Due to the centrality of technology as well as the redefinition of our personal space, in these pandemic times the intimacy and the lack of it are now not only lived but conceived differently. How would you describe your perception of intimacy, relationships, and connection today?
Man is a “social animal”. Today we are much more aware of ourselves, of what surrounds us, of the need for balance between intimacy and sociality. Everything will be the same as before and yet nothing will be the same, the difference will be in how our eyes see and what they want to see.
What do you expect from the audience’s experience after viewing your work in this digital environment? How do you think that our endless consumption of digital contents is affecting the production and the fruition of artworks? Do you think the virtual exhibition experience will continue to be a possible tool for presenting your research?
The purpose of this project is to make people think about the human development system through objective images, without any manipulation, that show the consequences of our lifestyle. It is difficult to imagine how my relationship with new technologies will evolve; what is certain is that I have tried, and often appreciated, possibilities that without the pandemic I would never have considered. I think that virtual exhibitions are a means of transmitting our points of view to as many people as possible. Online exhibitions allow us to conceive new works that otherwise would not have been conceived, exhibited, and enjoyed: this project is an example.