Laura Pugno’s art aims to undermine or overturn spectators’ expectations, putting them in difficulty or in a condition of interpretative uncertainty over the work. This is what happens in Mis-love, where the artist upends the idea of the domestic houseplant as an emblem of house pride. Plants, in fact, represent a recurring positive stereotype in home furnishing magazines, in the cinema and in publicity campaigns. But at the same time, plants testify to the love of green that has recently been gaining great attention, perhaps because of the dramatic environmental problems that are a feature of our times. In her installation – consisting of some ten elements – Pugno alters radically the way in which plants are presented to the spectator, filling the spaces between the branches and leaves with polyurethane foam. These are unexpected, brutal concretions that violate the supposed natural “status” of the vegetation, rendering it inorganic, disquieting and monstrous – they are produced, in fact, industrially with high ecological impact. Yet that condition – to which the plant will react rapidly, developing alternative growth and survival paths – speaks desperately of mankind which finds itself in a contradictory condition, torn by a declared desire for nature at every stage, and an ideological opposition to many of the phenomena that nature itself implies, such as old age, illness, death and respect for process times. Mis-love thus displays openly our ambiguity, our incapacity to act coherently with those same premises that we proclaim. It shows the limits and ambiguity of our vision and judgment.

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Posted on: 15 November 2021, by : Alessandro Ulleri
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