Monday, October 6, 2008

Claudia Losi (Heather's Pick)

Claudia Losi has been producing and touring her Balena (whale in Italian) project since 2002. The origin of this project was the creation of a life size cashmere whale. This whimsical sculpture was inspired by the gradual transformation of the sea level in Losi’s home country, Italy. In her words, “A long, long time ago whales swam between the Apennines, in a sea that has been replaced by the sky.” Losi also cited a memory of seeing a massive dead whale that was being used as a traveling sideshow in Italy during the 70s as having an influence on the project. The initial creation of the whale acted as a starting point for many other collaborative projects; including gathering children’s sketches of what they thought a whale looked like and then having small fabric whales made from the designs. What began as a funny notion of sea turning to sky began to transform into a large dialogue about human interaction with animals, transformation of the earth, and perceptions of the unknown.

I had the chance to see this exhibit during my stay in Florence, Italy. All the work has this amazing broad range of appeal. Due to the size and habitat of the whale, for many this creature is almost unimaginable to picture. Claudia Losi did a fantastic job of exploring this in a dynamic visual way.

This body of work relates back to Frank Noelker (Jenny’s pick). At the heart of Claudia Losi’s work is a discussion of human interaction and perception with the whale. However, while Noelker’s photographs deal with direct human impact on animals in captivity the Balena project focuses on natural progression and changes in the whale’s habitat.


Short 5 question interview

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