Genealogical research is customarily motivated by a sense associated to the pressing need to feel that one belongs to a clan, a set of people connected to each other by various degrees of kinship, ideally culminating with the progenitor from whom it all originated.
The lineage of a family usually reaches a certain number of past generations until, because of the lack of accurate data, it comes to a halt. The notion of belonging remains nonetheless intact.
“Genealogy of a Body’ implies the research of a starting point temporally positioned in the future and not, as in genealogical research, in the past. It begins with a series of already shaped subjects, with parental status, which, following hybridisation after hybridisation, decrease in number until they reach the last child, heir to past combinations and poured into my contemporary totem.
I am particularly seduced by the essence of things, by a focal point, towards which the plurality of elements is projected as a whole, as if they were one. But why are humans attracted to it ?
Essence is the last step of knowledge that indicate to us the nature of a given thing or being. It’ something precise that leaves no mental clutter and allows to trace, through a work of abstraction, the outline of a shared reality.
It is like doing a big clean-up in the countless crossings that we experience on a daily basis and in the accumulation of nets/networks that become increasingly dense along the stretch of our life. One reaches the need to constantly form new anchoring points from which to begin again to structure one’s thoughts. Such repetitiveness in the research forms a pleasantly comforting handhold and places the utopia of the origin, or of the essence of things, in opposite balance to the mortal and uncertain condition of humans.
The cross-section of mankind, which is delivered by the series, is relegated to the perpetual cyclicality of life and arises through a selection of human stereotypes identified in 12 source subjects. Two-dimensional shapes, without any content. If we were to quote Borges : ‘they are mirrors that appear full, but are empty”. By their nature, they reflect images of themselves which, as such, imply indeed a content, which will not be material but ideal and linked to totemism. Thanks to these different combinations I obtain, through the hybridisation of initially the source subjects, and subsequently by the hybridised ones, a synthesis that will attempt to reveal the essence of the thing in itself.
“Genealogy of a Body’ is also a child of the ‘big data’ era.
Once the line of the potential for analysis of that incredible amount of data we generate has been crossed, spawns the opportunity to predict what is to come, to know the orientation of the masses as never before, to determine with mathematical accuracy the motion of our souls. In this momentum I tackled the will to search, through a limited number of human subjects, my own contemporary totem.
A synthesis resulting from processing of over 3000 macro photographs portraying human details, which then formed the first 12 parent figures, ensued by various degrees of hybridisation until reaching the first subject, or last in the sense of time, loaded with the baggage of all its predecessors, and therefore the most ancient. A conclusive figure, imaginary, able to fulfil the function of the totem of a primitive tribe and, subsequently, projected into our present, the gnawing of a future threatened by our needs in contrast with our urges.