Joan Fontcuberta, Fauna Secreta
Carte Blanche in Lazzaro Spallanzani’s collection
Joan Fontcuberta’s photography combines reality and fiction, and this project he is devoting to the Spallanzani Collection continues in this spirit.
His inquiring eye throws new light on the photographs and documents contained in the Spallanzani Collection.
The artist points out that the work is based on the studies conducted by Professor Peter Ameisenhaufen on Italy’s fauna, particularly in the Apennines and Sicily, during his expeditions in 1930s. Ameisenhaufen was fascinated by the work carried out by his predecessors Ulisse Aldrovandi and the scientist from Reggio Emilia Lazzaro Spallanzani. He was particularly enthusiastic about Spallanzani’s study of the ‘Knitted Trunk Fish’ (Ostracion Concatenatus), the only example of which still in existence today, so important as to have been visited by Charles Darwin, is in the Fish Collection displayed in the cabinets of the City Museums of Reggio Emilia. Dr Chiarelli entrusted part of the inheritance of his friend Ameisenhaufen to our museum, and now, thanks to the selection made by Fontcuberta, some of those images can be seen interacting creatively with other items in the collection.