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The collaboration beween NABA and Yakult Italia, born to enhance the value of microbiology through visual arts with the project “BACTERIART, from invisible to visible”, involving the students of the BA in Painitng and Visual Arts and of the MA in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies of the Academy, culminated with the digital event BacteriArt Day, that took place on April 21st.

Congratulations to the students Francesco Scalas, Giacomo Segantin and Olivier Russo whose work of art “F06. 3” was awarded as the best project within the 30 presented. “F06. 3” is an installation composed by a series of heterogeneous elements that coexist through a system of balance and interdependence. Technological and organic components are arranged in a close relationship with each other: a projector, speakers and a video screen coexist with red cabbages, whose interior resembles the shape of the intestine, in an apparatus suspended from the ground. At the basis of this correlation, there is the desire to overturn the western modernist anthropic logic that defines the “non-human” giving it a secondary importance.

Two special mentions were awarded as well: “Bacterial Identities” by Sofia Gasparoli, won the Doctor Shirota prize for the accurate scientific study in her design. Her project consists of a sculpture inspired by the scientific discovery that demonstrates the uniqueness in the combination of bacteria that define individuals as human beings. The artwork is developed around a research of the University of Oregon held in 2015, which proved that humans differ in their personal microbial cloud.

Humano s.d. / Humanum Homini s.d.” by Jessie Yu was awarded with the New Visions prize for the most unexpected interpretation of the concept “from invisible to visible”. The project is based on two Atlas, one “mirroring” the other. Both find their focus on a sort of a communication: in the first section the nature “writes” to the human, in the second section the human “writes” to the self. The final result is a series of postcards that simulates a journey in different places, but with bacteria, and represents a critic to anthropocentrism: people are often too busy focusing on their desires realisation to focus nature’s wellbeing.

The international jury that selected the winning projects was chaired by Alessandro Cannavò, Corriere della Sera’s Editor in chief, and composed by many prominent figures in both artistic and scientific fields, to highlight once again the value that arises from the cooperation of different areas of knowledge: Lucia Aspesi, Assistant Curator at Pirelli HangarBicocca, Patrizia Brigidi, Rector's Delegate for European Research Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences of Università di Bologna, Eva Fabbris, Exhibition Curator of Fondazione Prada, Arianna Rolandi, Scientific Director and External Relations of Yakult Italia, Gediminas & Nomeda Urbonas, lecturers of Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT, Cambridge, as well as the Academy’s faculty members Marco Scotini, NABA Visual Arts Department Head and Andris Brinkmanis, Course Leader of the BA in Painting and Visual Arts.

The awarded projects were realised and set up wihtin NABA campus in Milan, along with five more projects, selected in the shortlists: “Bacterial Communication” by Alessandra Di Rito, “Equilibrium” by Marie Nicole Gianfrate, “Petrigrafia” by Francesca Dalpi, Elena Marcon, Matilde Villa and Marika Vitrani, “Symphonia Serratiae” by Axel Gradito, Emma Damiani and Francesca Lapris and “Terrarium N. 12” by Nicolò Soligo.

Through “BACTERIART, from invisible to visible”, bacteria gets out of the laboratories to become visible thanks to art, that traditionally helps understanding what the senses fail to acknowledge.

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