Rethinking Nature: Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan

19 Dec 2021

The artistic practice of Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan centres on collaborative processes involving storytelling and participatory making in workshops that empower through shared creative experiences. For Rethinking Nature, the artists expand on Project Another Country, initiated in 2006 and inspired by the Badjao people, nomadic sailors of the Sulu Sea in the Philippines.

This ongoing project addresses multiple understandings of the idea of home and questions orientations to individual forms of living through exploring communal proximity and co-existence. Pillar is composed of hundreds of houses developed by young people in workshops conducted in conjunction with Daedalus community association in Naples. Participants articulated their vision of home and the natural environment by imagining and constructing out of recycled cardboard.

The cascade of these houses and gardens forming the installation descends across the floors of the museum, suspended from a Neapolitan sailboat, inverted like a shelter in a storm, in reference to the city’s history as a Mediterranean port, as well as to future forms of living on water that rising sea levels will generate. Embodying processes of collective intelligence and collaboration, the work articulates a multi-vocal vision of living in connection with surrounding ecologies.

Rethinking Nature is currently showing at Museo Madre until 2 May 2022.

Image: installation view of Pillar, 2021, mixed media, cardboard houses, wood, lifeboat, dimension variable; commissioned for Rethinking Nature | Photo by Amedeo Benestante.