In the complex image from the series The Modern Spirit is Vivisective, Francesca Catastini combines a contemporary photographic image of a pregnant woman toned in blue with a sixteenth-century print of a jellyfish, ironically alluding to the improbability of Renaissance scientific theses. Starting from the history of anatomy studies and the phenomenon of public dissections, The Modern Spirit is Vivisective investigates the relationship between what is visible and what is generally precluded to the human eye.
FRANCESCA CATASTINI uses photography to develop work that brings together her childhood enthusiasm for ethology and medicine. Self-portraits and staged photography in spaces such as a laboratories or historical “teatri anatomici”, stuffed animals and old manuals as iconographic sources (along with archival photos and texts, and vernacular photographs) are the tools of her colourful stories, as in The Modern Spirit Is Vivisective (2013-2016). Catastini uses the ambiguity of the language of photography to ironise on the reality she depicts, creating picture-perfect compositions packed with conceptual visual allusions. Her sets are based on meticulous aesthetic designs, where the artist uses a clean, precise light to vivisect stereotypes of families and the dynamic of couples, and transforms sterile spaces into places bearing many meanings. *She was born in Lucca in 1982 and lives and works in the Tuscany’s province.