Three fetal skeletons, between 6 and 8 months development, stand arranged on a display of renal, bladder, and gall stones, and vascular trees.
The topmost skeleton is that of a female at 6 months gestation, and holds a string of pearls. The left skeleton is a male at 7 months gestation, and holds a miniature scythe. The right one is a female at 8 months gestation, and is wiping its eyes with a sheet of mesentery - the connective tissue found between body cavities.
Thesaurus Anatomicus (Primus). Frederik Ruysch, 1721.
“The represented subject in this installation is the antique theme of the metamorphosis intended as an unceasing transformation of shapes from a “primigenial chaos”.
For this purpose we have created a sort of catalogue of natural motifs starting with the engravings from natural history’s great European texts, between the XVI Century and the XVIII Century, from Aldrovandi to Ruysch, from Linneus to Bonnaterre.
A catalogue - it naturally includes also human - that does not have a taxonomic or scientific aim in the modern sense, but that wants to explore both the real and the fantastic, the true and the verisimilar in the way medieval bestiaries did.
In each image three layers live together, three worlds that could belong to a specific natural kingdom or to an anatomical part, but at the same time connect to a different psychological or emotional status that passes from the clear to the hidden, from the light to the darkness, from the awakeness to the dream in something that could be a sort of exploration of the surface’s deepness.”