The site-specific installation realized by Andrea Nacciarriti investigates the dynamics and boundaries of the human-nature relationship, highlighting the similarities and paradoxes between the process of natural and artistic creation. Through the image of a hanging tree the artist aims to propose a personal narrative of nature made of violence, fractures, and of the transformations arising both from slow spontaneous biological phenomena and the abrupt accelerations of mechanical actions.
The trunk, retrievied from a beach and naturally shaped by the sea swell and wind, is suspended in the space, here conceived as an aseptic showcase, a transparent box with the sole function of exposing the object to the public gaze. Even if the trunk is removed from its original environment, it lives on: only a closer look can unveil several woodworm holes and one drilled hole made by the artist himself, which left sawdust on the ground. Hence the title of the exhibition, Ø, makes use of the geometric symbol of diameter referring to those holes in the wood, a metaphor for a violent and persistent excavation eroding the living matter from the inside. Both the xylophagous insects and the artist are agents that likewise mold and alter the trunk shape.
Through simple and yet radical gestures, Nacciarriti depicts the tremendous features of nature - the trunk is the synecdoche of a body offended by seasons, disease, and drift. The aesthetic experience is rather reversed into an aesthetic of the experience, and the work reflects on the environmental disruption and physical decay as common fate for every organism. The artist unmasks the anthropic pretense of technologically emulating the plant kingdom and transform the natural status of the tree into a partially natural object: while the front-side and the shape of the trunk shows the signs of the regular process of decomposition, from different angles the contamination between the animal and human kingdom shows the signs of a silent aggression.
In this scenario where the boundaries between natural and artificial and between protection and defacement are dilated and blurred, the exhibition becomes an observatory of biological phenomenon and of human intense attempts to reach the harmony with the organic kingdom. The hanging trunk-sculpture, then, narrows down that hybrid and precarious space which visualizes the paradoxe, hypotheses, and notions that currently crowd the contemporary debate about the proximity of mankind to nature, rather than about their interconnection; the trunk is a still-alive lump that cruelly shows the signs of time and of sea storms, the marks of biodeterioration and of artistic gesture.