‘Would you like some cheese?’, asked Mary. / He shook his head. ‘You look very happy. Have you found something else?’ / Mary nodded eagerly and handed him another fossil she had cleaned. It was the round, knobbly kind. / ‘Tis one of them verterberries,’ she said. / Geoffrey looked puzzled, till it dawned on him. ‘Oh, you mean vertebrae!’ / ‘That’s right, a verterberry.’ / Geoffrey looked at the fossil with more interest. ‘It can’t be,’ he said at last. / ‘Why not?’ She was angry at once. / ‘It’s much too big,’ he explained. (excerpt from “The Crocodile”, by John Tully)
Nona Inescu is the Mary Anning* of contemporary art. She goes back to the bare-bones of the world, looking for pristine forms of life bursting from an all-inclusive, universal Lagerstätten. Her curiosity bears an almost tactile nature, a desire to touch the ‘materia prima’ of this world and, upon touching it, to walk us through noosphere and beyond, towards a place where pre, neo, geo, bio, cyber, techno live in absolute accord.
“Contact is crisis”, she says, inspired by a quote from “Before Sexuality: The Construction of Erotic Experience in the Ancient Greek World”, by Anne Carson. If contact is crisis, Inescu’s touch is here to trigger the renaissance of all senses and sensibilities: polyphony is the key tone of her work, while metamorphosis is its outer body.
Mirroring her research-driven artistic practice, Nona Inescu’s proposal for LISTE is ‘a natural history museum simulacrum’ dedicated to hybrid forms of past lives as seen from the future. Easily recognizable museum elements - such as display mechanisms and stanchions - are subverted and thus become part of a fluid, hybrid body blurring the lines between the animal, vegetal, and mineral worlds.
*Born in 1799; Mary Anning was an English fossil collector and palaeontologist, remembered as one of the greatest fossil hunters to have ever lived.