Este­ti­ca del­la muf­fa The Ae­sthe­tics of Mould

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Da­re si­gni­fi­ca­to all’in­de­si­de­ra­to. Par­te da que­sto biz­zar­ro pre­sup­po­sto lo stu­dio dell’ar­ti­sta e de­si­gner Li­zan Frei­j­sen, con lo sco­po di­chia­ra­to di ele­va­re ad ar­re­do d’in­ter­ni muf­fe, li­che­ni e al­tri ele­men­ti na­tu­ra­li di nor­ma ac­com­pa­gna­ti da una pes­si­ma re­pu­ta­zio­ne. A giu­di­ca­re dal­le nu­me­ro­se im­ma­gi­ni che co­sti­tui­sco­no la mag­gior par­te del cor­po­so vo­lu­me The Li­ving Sur­fa­ce, let­te­ral­men­te “la su­per­fi­cie vi­ven­te”, l’idea non par­reb­be del tut­to cam­pa­ta in aria: già ri­va­lu­ta­ti in am­bi­to scien­ti­fi­co (i li­che­ni, per esem­pio, so­no ot­ti­mi bio­in­di­ca­to­ri del­la qua­li­tà dell’aria), fun­ghi, mu­schi e com­pa­gnia ri­ve­la­no nel­la rac­col­ta di Frei­j­sen un ina­spet­ta­to fa­sci­no an­che dal pun­to di vi­sta este­ti­co. Non si trat­ta pe­rò, pre­ci­sa l’au­tri­ce, di fo­to ar­ti­sti­che: le fi­gu­re rac­col­te esal­ta­no piut­to­sto la di­men­sio­ne del tem­po, il len­to pro­ces­so di de­ca­di­men­to che por­ta nei ma­te­ria­li cam­bia­men­ti ini­zial­men­te im­per­cet­ti­bi­li, poi ine­vi­ta­bi­li e inar­re­sta­bi­li, per giun­ge­re in­fi­ne al­lo spet­ta­to­re co­me un gio­co di mac­chie e co­lo­ri. Un ve­ro e pro­prio ca­ta­lo­go di di­se­gni na­tu­ra­li del tut­to ina­spet­ta­ti, im­pa­gi­na­to con ori­gi­na­li­tà e ar­ric­chi­to dai con­tri­bu­ti del de­si­gner Ed van Hin­te e del­la fi­si­ca Han­ne­ke Gel­der­blom. (Ste­fa­no Be­ne­det­ti)

Doing so­me­thing mea­ning­ful wi­th the un­de­si­ra­ble. The stu­dio of ar­ti­st and de­si­gner Li­zan Frei­j­sen starts from this ra­ther odd pre­mi­se as they set out to ele­va­te mould, li­chens and other na­tu­ral ele­men­ts that usual­ly ha­ve ve­ry ne­ga­ti­ve as­so­cia­tions to the sta­tus of de­co­ra­ti­ve de­si­gn fea­tu­res. And if the ma­ny ima­ges that ap­pear in the hef­ty to­me The Li­ving Sur­fa­ce are any­thing to go by, the idea might not be su­ch a cra­zy one af­ter all. Now that fun­gi, mos­ses and the li­ke ha­ve been reas­ses­sed by the scien­ce com­mu­ni­ty (li­chens, for exam­ple, are ex­cel­lent bio-in­di­ca­tors of air qua­li­ty), they ta­ke on an unex­pec­ted­ly at­trac­ti­ve ae­sthe­tic qua­li­ty in Frei­j­sen’s book. But, as the au­thor poin­ts out, the­se are not art pho­tos: the pic­tu­res fo­cus at­ten­tion in­stead on the tem­po­ral di­men­sion, the slow pro­cess of de­cay that pro­vo­kes what are ini­tial­ly im­per­cep­ti­ble chan­ges in ma­te­rials that then ine­vi­ta­bly be­co­me un­stop­pa­ble and even­tual­ly ap­pear to the viewer as a set of co­lou­red stains. A ca­ta­lo­gue of na­tu­ral and qui­te sur­pri­sing pat­terns, pre­sen­ted in book form in an ori­gi­nal way and en­ri­ched wi­th con­tri­bu­tions from de­si­gner Ed van Hin­te and phy­si­ci­st Han­ne­ke Gel­der­blom

The Li­ving Sur­fa­ce – An al­ter­na­ti­ve bio­lo­gy book on stains Li­zan Frei­j­sen, Ed van Hin­te Han­ne­ke Gel­der­blom Jap Sam Books, 2017 pp 256, € 28

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