Francesca Catastini

The modern spirit is vivisective 


With The Modern Spirit is Vivisective Francesca Catastini embarks on a visceral and cutting-edge journey inside the human body, to explore anecdotes and unmask misleading beliefs behind the study of Anatomy in the past.
The ancient anatomical theatres are her starting point. The lost functionality of these spaces, suspended in a remote limbo between the carnality of death and the quest for knowledge, leads her to embrace dissection and vivisection, metaphorically, as an aesthetic performance. Presented as an eclectic cabinet of curiosities, her austere yet ironical images merge and mingle with found photographs of old anatomy labs and blind students’ archives, with appropriated frontispieces of Renaissance Anatomy manuals and quirky illustrations. Together, these materials form a telescopic structure divided into overlapping sections, each relating to the various actions involved in every dissection: looking, touching, cutting and discovering.

Federica Chiocchetti, The Photocaptionist

Francesca Catastini (Lucca,1982) lives and works in Tuscany. Having initially studied biology, she went on to complete an MA in Photography and Visual Design at NABA, in Milan, in 2009.

In 2015 she was shortlisted for Premio Francesco Fabbri, took part in TU35, promoted by Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci di Prato, and presented her work at Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne (Screening session). In 2016 her book The Modern Spirit is Vivisective, co-edited and with a text by Federica Chiocchetti, won the ViennaPhotoBookAward and is published by AnzenbergerEdition.

In the same year she contributed to Piazza dell’Immaginario, a project by Dryphoto arte contemporanea, in Prato, she was among the speakers of Imaging the Past/Collecting the Future: Archive, Photography, Cinema, Museums, at the IMT School for Advanced Studies di Lucca, and took part in several exhibitions, among them: Feminine Masculine, at the London Art Fair, and Ouvrage, at Twenty 14 Contemporary in Milan.

In January this year she was among the selected artists for Plat(t)form at Fotomuseum Winterthur.


Galleria Parmeggiani – 11am

The modern spirit is vivisective

Guided tour with Francesca Catastini

Exhibition Venue

Galleria Parmeggiani
corso Cairoli, 2
42121 Reggio Emilia


Opening Hours

inaugural days
May 5 › 7am-11pm
May 6 and 7 › 10am-11pm
from May 12 to July 9
Saturday and Sunday
10am-1pm / 4pm-7pm
special opening
June 2 › 10am-11pm

Galleria Parmeggiani