Born and raised in Italy, I am now working and living in the Netherlands. In September 2017 I enrolled in a Master in Fine Arts at the University of the Arts Utrecht.
My research interest lies in the field of Animal Studies and is currently evolving around the construct human / animal / food, where I see the concept of animal as a potential bridge between nature and culture. A “construct” is an idea or theory containing various conceptual elements, typically one considered to be subjective and not based on empirical evidence; it can also be a physical thing, but one which is deliberately built or formed (as in "a transgenic construct".) The human / animal / food construct names the entanglement of nature and culture via a conceptualization of the animal as essentially “livestock”. The notion of animal as livestock is widely accepted and seems to be neutral, but actually it is not: it implies a certain way of looking at the animal and, as the reverse of the coin, a certain way of determining us, as humans. Even though the concept of animal as livestock may seem natural, the truth is that there is no “natural concept of animal”, or there are many concepts of animal, each of which appears to be natural if taken in isolation from the others, but whenever we look at them at the same time the overall picture becomes very controversial, and claims of “naturality” must be dropped, because the different views on animals are often contradictory.
This means that the concept of animal is polysemic, it takes on different meanings depending on how it is opposed to human, so actually it shades light on what it means to be human. Analyzing it may provide insights to overcome a concept of human that is too narrow or too anthropocentric. There are many possibilities for looking at animals: the concept of animal as livestock is very dominant in Western culture, but paradoxically it is coupled with the concept of animal as pet. By showing all the possibilities we have for looking at animals, the idea is to present a vast space which may contain also the possibility of the animal as the relevant other. Also, every possible choice for definition of animal entails a definition of ourselves and sheds light on what we take ourselves to be. How do we - as humans - want to define ourselves?