A small ceramic trunk painted with an almost pearly pink dye is placed at the beginning of a staircase, in this position it’s like it wants to reach the top of the stairs and complete its path. This elephant section, whose phallic reference is more than evident, is part of the site specific installation Fataità (2021) created by Melania Fusco. The title takes up the word of the Venetian dialect that has different meanings, the most common is to circumscribe an event that does not have a logical explanation in itself but capable of upsetting plans and proposing a new perspective.

Fusco’s sculpture fits perfectly in this meaning: the object creates disorientation and curiosity within the environment made pink through the control of light sources. Whose trunk is this? Who forgot it on the stairs? Or did it get there on its own? Pietro Buratti in an erotic and satirical poem, entitled Elefanteide, talks about an angry elephant who runs away through the streets of Venice to find a place to practice self-eroticism. Inside this reference the circle of the artworks finds an end and Fataità is complete. In fact, the artist by disseminating clues within the space of this fantastic character sketches his path to be able to offer him a space of quiet. The ceramic trunk then comes alive, you can almost imagine it climbing the stairs and resting in a corner: together with the other objects and drawings that scattered throughout the space, the artist manages to release the energy of a primordial instinct now free in all its beauty and poetry.

With this operation the artist, perfectly fitting into her practice, introduces a new and non-univocal dimension of animal and human identity: creating a playful and imaginative space, in which this humanoid elephant moves, subverts the practices of daily entering into a suspended time in which fantasy and reality come together and, by mixing each other, generate a thought that cannot be reduced to a single interpretative level. Then playing with the ambiguous shapes of the elephant’s body, Fusco proposes a sexuality that has no defined boundaries, which is not identified with a specific role but rather prefers to play with the hybrid. And it is in this indefinite area where the elephant finds rest and pleasure, a protected place where is possible to express themselves freely.


Melania Fusco
Fataità, 2021
Site specific installation, various dimensions /elements in glazed ceramic with luster technique
Installation view at Spazio Su, Lecce
© Photo: Amelia Bellitta, courtesy the artist and Spazio Su