April 5, 2023 - June 3, 2023
Castello 2432, Fondamenta dei Penini, Venice 30122, Italy
Birth repeats itself from thing to thing
This is life
it is given to no one
but to all in use…
(Lucretius, De rerum natura)
Taking inspiration from his intricate ongoing research into overlooked natural landscapes, topographies and systems, Paesaggi Invisibili, (Invisible Landscapes), is a new body of work by Venetian artist Simone Carraro. Centre-stage in the exhibition is the artist’s creative investigation into the osmosis that occurs between abandoned industrial and man-made elements left to nature and their surrounding environments. Carraro positions himself as a scientist or anthropologist, as he keenly explores how nature embraces and absorbs what man carelessly discards and forgets. The artist’s resulting imagery is a maze of idiosyncratic mapping, based on his biological research but manifested in a folkloric and symbolic language all of his own.
Carraro approaches nature as an uncovering of a series of phenomenal processes, resulting in the creation of unique microscapes. These are manifested by his vision through microscopic lenses, through which he analyzes, describes, films, draws and stylises. Thus there emerges a strong narrative within and between the works, themselves an ensemble of analogue and digitally produced pieces. One might describe the composition of his imagery as an ‘archive of invisible landscapes’. This detailed research constitutes the cornerstone of Carraro’s artistic process: a biological abandonment. Thus he connects with the genesis of the word ‘abandon’ - from medieval French “mettre à bandon”, namely “leave to the power of”.
Working in an almost alchemic fashion, he abandons the idea that man can control nature, and expresses that, through a long, slow process of sedimentation, ordinary objects change form and function, leaving their origin behind to become unique living creatures in their own right. Algae, sponges, marine worms and tiny crustaceans take over discarded objects that gradually turn to what one might describe as dense sites of biodiversity.
Metamorphosis is a focus of the exhibition, occurring at the point where the vital forces of the natural world override social constructs. Carraro’s work challenges our societal conventions as well as the idea of an inextinguishable anthropocentrism. The artist instead centres on imagining an archaic future where humanity gives itself over to nature, cultivating the idea of a dynamic ecosystem in equilibrium.
The French 18th-Century chemist Antoine Lavoiser famously said “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed” to describe a series of experiments within his laboratory. Carraro’s new works in Paesaggi Invisibili might strike the viewer as a pictorial rendition of a similarly scientific, as well as semiotic, exploration into continuously changing landscapes. Here, waste is sacralized by imperceptible organisms, whose frenetic energy evokes a feeling of inexorable transience.
Exhibition organised and curated by Yasmine Helou and PATERSON ZEVI.
In collaboration with Hesperia Iladou Suppiej
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