via Principe Eugenio 42
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Rachele Maistrello uses the landscape surrounding a nursing home to give shape to the imagination and perceptions of the guests who lived there, trying to eliminate any element attributable to the physical and mental deprivation consumate with their years.
Stella Maris is a structure for the elderly who are no longer self- suf cient that is situated between a strip of land separating the Adriatic Sea from the Venetian lagoon. The artist, after collecting a series of audio, written, and video interviews during her long stay at Stella Maris, picked up pieces of bark from the hospital park trees and transformed them into abstract portraits. The collected shapes are transformed into photographic silhouettes of the waters that are daily seen from the guests’ windows.
Once the photographic silhouettes were made, she studied the tides and re ections of the lights in the lagoon’s landscape and installed the silhouettes in the water, photographing them again through a view camera.
The various explorations and constructions of the pictures were lmed and displayed daily to guests in their rooms.
In the second phase of the project, the artist, along with three residents of the structure, Giulio, Annamaria and Nerina, decided to build a map of their imaginations, letting them draw and cataloging a sign-atlas of their memories and their daily thoughts. Part of these drawings were transformed into vector images, which were engraved with laser cutting on stainless steel.
The artist’s book, a compilation of stories, drawings, and photographs by the guests of the views from the nursing home are made on a special trans- parent paper, the same paper the residents used for drawings during the months of the artist’s presence in the hospital.
The artist’s role, functioning through the stele, the three large-format photographs, and the book, attempts to de-construct a place through the imagi- nation of the people living there, freeing the process from the logic of linear narrative and using a metaphysical perception of time and space.
project in collaboration with Marco Maria Zanin
Stainless Stele produced and realized by Palladio SPA and Alfredo Tiso and Figli
in collaboration with Stella Maris, San Camillo Hospital, Venice
Image: The day before, 2017
Courtesy of the artist