Naturalis Historia

Naturalis Historiae

Naturalis Historia

“Time isn’t an arrow or circle but a spiral that keeps turning in circles, only to end up somewhere else.” Midas Dekker (from The Way of All Flesh: A Celebration of Decay)

During our lifetime, everything we have built cracks inevitably back to dust, the building blocks of the building blocks. Everything and everyone turns to dust.

Soil is the result and the product of the physical, natural and anthropogenic erosion of the earth’s surface into dust. During the last sixty years, thanks to the industrial revolution, this process has increased exponentially by the use of powerful machines, able to transform rocky surfaces into fine dust only in few hours. Manure, organic matter, decaying organisms and chemical fertilizers transform the rock’s dust to a fertile land, altering entirely the balance of the landscape and its response to the weather conditions.

During the summer of 2013 I have been collecting ten different soils, each one with different color, specific mineralogy and recorded the ingenious, personalized ways local farmers classify them. Each soil has its own reason to exist; it contains the history of the people living on and from it, as it contains the history of the landscape in which it exists, as a result of historical socio-economic relations that have affected and still continue to modify it, under the infinite activity of time.

Naturalis Historia is a collection of archaic tablets on which it is written the history of our selves and of our land. It contains our past, our present and our future, going beyond the lifetime of a person and of the entire society. Each soil differs from the each other as every culture differs from every other.

The landscape in the Belice's Valley

The landscape in the Belice’s Valley with the soil in different colors

The soils collected

The soils collected

Naturalis Historiae

The first ten tablets of the Naturalis Historia

Naturalis Historiae

Gradient of soil with different layers of paint: from 1 to 7

Collecting the soil

Collecting the soil

The soil  divided in four sizes

The soil divided in four sizes

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