Federica Schiavo Gallery is proud to present the second solo exhibition by Salvatore Arancio in Rome, titled The Little Man of the Forest With the Big Hat.
The exhibition revolves around a sculptural installation designed and produced by the artist during a residency at Museo Carlo Zauli in Faenza in 2012. The work consists of a series of ceramics and manipulated illustrations taken from books of mycology, which depict unusual mushrooms and toadstools. The correlation between the different elements of the work vaguely reconnects to an aesthetic traditionally linked to scientific collections. Arancio juxtaposes this detached and methodical approach to mysterious and exotic natural forms, at times phallic, which through the mimesis and the distortion of scientific studies of empirical nature, tries to suggest a crisis of category and significance. The permanent fascination of the artist for a visual disorientation and ostranenie aims to make the viewer question and reconsider socio-cultural elements that lie behind our gaze.
Arancio also presents his film Birds, recently shot on Super 8 at the zoological museum in Bologna. This new video shows a subjective vision of the ornithological collection, created by Zafagnini-Bertocchi in the first half of the 20th Century. Through the juxtaposition of deep gravitational rumbling sounds by Kansas City cult music project Expo 70 and Arancio’s precise editing, still close ups and slow camera panning, the film exposes the sinister and uncanny nature of the displays, resulting in an ambiguous temporality, a visionary experience that transcends and transforms the original scientific illustrative purpose of the cabinets.
In the last room, the artist’s fascination with aesthetics related to traditional methods of scientific classification is central again. A new sculptural piece and a series of works on paper create new juxtapositions that are at once evocative and seductive, reflecting on ideas of nature and its merging with science, myths and legends. Within the works on display, Arancio suggests a new organization of meanings, enquiring and reflecting on how little we actually know of the world that surround us.