Cristina De Paola


“Il Luogo delle Forme” is a very specific research, both visually and theoretically. The plants world becomes the focal point, a small universe to discover. Plants seem to be still species, silent while time moves forward; they surround us and, above all, they exist before us. Since the beginning of its existence, the planet Earth has been a container of primordial lifeforms, and among these, plants have been able to generate the perfect atmosphere for the formation of a multiform ecosystem. The series is the result of the research carried out during the artistic residence “TRACCIATI - AIR Non Reserved Artist in Residence” between Non Riservato and Cascina Biblioteca (Milan). The photographs – made using an analog microscope inside the garden of Cascina Biblioteca – demonstrate a micro system within a macro-system; during the period of residence the existence of a dualism – a collaboration between the animal world and the plant world – has come to my attention. Agriculture thus becomes an operation of meaning, not only dictated by the need for subsistence, but of an intrinsic connection between two worlds. The analog microscope, through which a partial – almost taxonomic – collection of plants in the garden was carried out, has been decontextualized by its main scientific function to become a chambre claire able to catch textures, mappings, paths, shapes, colors. We are led to have a very benevolent conception of nature and everything that transcends it, but it is also true that it brings with it different kind of problematics. Among the photographed plants there are younger and older ones, as healthy or diseased ones. The transmission of bacteria and viruses in plants often occurs, at very large levels. Just think of the Xylella case that hit the olive trees in the south of Apulia, or even the case of Popillia Japonica that just recently weakened part of the vegetation of Northern Italy. Despite this we are aware only for a small percentage of what happens between plants and above all, within them.