HUMUS – ANDREA FRANCOLINO

25.09.2020 - 17.12.2020

“Infinite reflections on the Man/Nature rift and relationship accompany my artistic quest, prompting me to observe how provident and careful Nature is, especially when she covers the land with mulch, protecting it from erosion and the processes of desertification, from the sun and violent climatic phenomena, thus preventing the loss of fertility and humidity. This laborious cycle, made up of the accumulation of organic materials creates, over time and via various interconnected processes, that complex of substances that is of essential importance for the soil: humus.”

Museo Novecento is pleased to announce Andrea Francolino‘s solo exhibition “Humus”, curated by Sergio Risaliti and Luca Puri (25 September17 December 2020). The project stems from careful observation of Nature and of the relationships between the European countries, their cultural identities and sustainable future, uniting them all in a future aimed at safeguarding the planet: 28 flags, one for each member state of the European Union and a collective one, which unites and represents together all the nations of a united Europe, were installed by the artist in the museum’s loggia. On each flag, the GPS coordinates will be visible, alluding to the locations of the respective parliaments, a discreet and unambiguous way of revealing via geographical position their place in the world, by referring to the places where the decisions of men and women establish (or fail to establish) equilibria. The arrangement of each flag recalls that of the representatives of the individual countries when, sitting together, they can affect the destinies of the planet with their choices.

The ecological crisis and the strong efforts that individuals and nations have made to protect the planet are points of reflection for Andrea Francolino, who addresses this issue in the hope of achieving a future united by a common aim of protection: “In the face of this, all differences of faith, race, culture or provenance disappear, since the Earth is one and the same for everyone.”

The creation of a communal, nutrition-rich terrain is at the basis of this research, which cancels all kinds of differences between nations, without, however, disavowing the cultural, social and anthropic biodiversity that distinguishes them. Francolino’s exploration focuses on a specific activity that Nature carries out wisely and cleverly to protect the soil: mulching, the practice of covering the land with organic material to maintain its humidity, protect it from erosion and contain its temperature.

“The humus that Andrea Francolino forces us to think about – explains the Artistic Director of Museo Novecento, Sergio Risaliti – is the common ground that we share in living and experiencing our being in the world, making use of an almost limitless technological power, even if that power is, unfortunately, often destructive and abusive towards the planet and its people. The Earth, shared by all of us, erases borders. The defence of “ethnic groups” loses its meaning and function in the face of defending nature by safeguarding the collective humus. We must therefore learn from Mother Nature how to live harmoniously with entropy and how to accept change. We must think and behave from the perspective of a less violent and catastrophic time, but one that is more natural and cosmic.”

The exhibition has been made possible thanks to the contribution of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, and in conjunction with Mazzoleni, London – Turin.