Illustrations: Andrea Aste
Author: Andrea Aste
Publisher: Regional Museum of Natural Science in Turin, Italy, 2011
A solo exhibition sponsored and held at The Regional Museum of Natural Science of Turin (Italy).
I have always loved cartology and scientific readings from the past centuries. Taking inspiration from details of Turin’s historical buildings, botanical tomes, medieval bestiaries, ancient maps and travel logs of early adventurers voyaging to and from the New World, I created a parallel new world as seen through the eyes of Aar Adesten, a fictitious Elizabethan explorer.
In order to recreate an authentic 16th century Elizabethan look and feel to the project, I worked alongside experts and curators of the Regional Museum of Natural Science of Turin. I also experimented with different ageing techniques, inks, natural pigments and unconventional materials. This all culminated in Torineide: De Mirabile et Inaudita Exploratione, Aar Adesten’s travel log narrated through a series of diary passages accompanied by depictions of fantasy filled exotic flora and fauna which were presented alongside the actual museum specimens which inspired them.
In the parallel world of Torineide, Turin becomes an island to be discovered and mapped, a world where its architectural, cultural and historical elements are transformed into fantastic animals, insects and exotic plants.
The museum was so enthusiastic about the success and public response to the project, that it extended the exhibition dates to five months, allowing me to make a proposed installation: Aar Adesten’s ship cabin, using the museum’s collection of antiques, artifacts, taxidermy and various objects and curiosities. The museum also published Aar Adesten’s “travel log” (click here to discover it).
After having seen Torineide, I was invited by world renowned Italian art critic, Vittorio Sgarbi, to be part of the Italian Pavilion of the prestigious 54th Venice Biennale.