Adaptation - Andreco




Chiara Pietropaoli

On October 13, 2018 Galleria Varsi presents “Adaptation”, a solo show by Andreco, a transversal visual artist with a PhD in environmental engineering, specialized in sustainable projects in various climatic conditions.

Andreco’s scientific research meets art with the aim of creating trans-disciplinary reflections on the relationships between human beings and nature, and between natural and urban spaces. Fascinated by how plant organisms contribute in restoring the environment, Andreco deals with anthropic impacts and investigates the behavior of plants in environmental restoration and in the phytodepuration of water.

In Andreco’s work art and science are accomplices and consolidate his intentions. Science, always the backbone of his works, told through art becomes accessible and participated, conveying reflections on a sensitive and at the same time abstract level. Objective data are elaborated in symbols, ideal images that narrate and synthesize through a few lines the complexity of the chemical-physical processes of nature, while paying his tribute to them.

From a conceptual and philosophical point of view, Andreco’s work shifts an anthropocentric perspective into an ecocentric one. 

His artistic language is characterized by strong expressive freedom. From the beginning the artist chooses to externalize his research through different media: drawing, painting, sculpture, performances (close to rites and the theater), favoring public spaces and nature as his venues for expression. Debate is another essential tool for Andreco, and he has been involved in the promotion of interdisciplinary conferences on bio-phyto-rehabilitation techniques for several years. Specifically, “the word”, declaimed or written in monologues and slogans he has created, or quoted, assumes a central force in his works, true actions / reactions to the current environmental crisis and a proposal for a concrete and sustainable solution: “plants are to ecosystems what revolutionaries are to society” (Andreco).

“Adaptation” brings to our attention the changes produced by human – environment interaction, where the former has become the main transformation agent in the balance of the latter, hence the term “Anthropocene”, coined by the biologist Eugene F. Stoemer to indicate the current geological era. Among the most evident consequences of human action on the ecosystem today we can see: rising temperatures, rising seas, atmospheric, water and soil pollution, decreasing biodiversity, and many other heavy phenomena in constant growth.

In his show Andreco investigates the perspective changes in managing the effects of this impact. If at first the technical and scientific efforts and policies were focused on how to “avoid” the catastrophe”, today that the catastrophe has occurred in full the scientific commitment has shifted to elaborating adaptation strategies, also focusing attention on “resilience”, a term applied to different disciplines that designates the ability to react to trauma, to “repair” and to adapt to an adverse context. These properties are inherent to plants, which are noted for their tolerance to hostile events and their ability to regenerate after damage. Being sessile species, unable to move, plants “react” to unfavorable factors, they resist to survive. Another surprising feature of some plant organisms is how they can purify air, soil and contaminated water. A few of the species used in phytotechnologies are Cannabis sativa, hybrid poplar, amaranth, vetiver, wild sunflower, ferns, lime tree, which are all able to absorb, extract or filter the toxic contaminants and to stimulate processes of transpiration and degradation, together with swamp straw, Typha latifolia, Carex riparia, reed, Thalia dealbata, water lily, Areca, Rhapis excelsa, Chamaedorea, Dracaena and many others.

“Adaptation” is an act of awareness, a tribute to biological resistance and complexity. The exhibition is a criticism to human society and an exhortation to regain contact with ourselves, to think of our nature as whole, and to take care of it, as the only way to survive.

In 2011 Andreco exhibited for the first time in NYC his work, the “Green Man”, an anthropomorphic sculpture covered with depurative plants; “a man made of plants that purifies air polluted by flesh and blood men” says Andreco with critical spirit. Man is not to be seen in Andreco’s works and he is not in Galleria Varsi, where the walls are covered with shells, minerals, plants, corals, bacteria yet his presence is there.