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Pour ceux qui aiment la mer jusqu’à l’exclusion de toute autre possibilité de joie naturelle

Jean Painlevé, “Les Pieds dans l’Eau” (Voilà, 1935)

Nation25 Expedition at Santuario Pelagos, Photo Elena Abbiatici


Nation25 is invited as Art Collective to be part of the Project Undersea - Whale Hub held by Museo di Storia Naturale from Florence with Thetys Research Institute, with the support by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.

Curated by Valeria D'Ambrosio.


24-30 September 2018 Nation25 is artist in residence on a boat at the Santuario Pelagos in the Mediterranenan Sea with Thetys Research Institute.

Presentation:Performance-Lecture by Sarah C. Colner, Aula Magna, Florence University.


From 13th December 2018 till 9 January 2019 

Exhibition, Natural History Museum of Florence part of Undersea - Whale Hub.

Curated by Valeria D'Ambrosio.

ATLAS PROXIMA is an ongoing futuristic project in dialogue between art and marine biology initiated by Nation25 in 2018 on the occasion of an artistic residency promoted by the Museum of Natural History of Florence. After taking part in a Tethys Research Institute sea expedition in the Pelagos Sanctuary –the protected area for sea mammals in the northern Mediterranean Sea–, Nation25 developed an artistic project to enhance the value of the Whale Hall, a permanent exhibition of the Florentine museum centered on a fossilized whale skeleton dating back to the Pliocene era.


After the expedition, by keeping a constant dialogue with scientist Sabrina Airoldi (Project manager, Science coordinator and Data Management of the Tethys Institute) Nation25 guessed a plausible shocking evolution of sperm whales due to the intensive anthropic exploitation of ocean resources and the acceleration of global geological changes.


Through a performance-lecture illustrated by imaginary atlas tables, Sarah C. Colner (acronym for Rachel Carson) an android marine biologist coming from future year 300.001.935 d.C., illustrated the characteristics of the Volanscetus, an imaginary sea mammal species whose evolution was affected by the anthropic impact on marine ecosystems.


She explained the changes in its advanced body mass, epidermal system, digestive, visual and respiratory apparatus as an adaptive response to cope with acoustic and plastic pollution, acidification of water and massive vessel traffic, until the rapidly-degrading marine ecosystem transformed the Sperm Whale into a mammal living on water and air to avoid plastic mountains amassed on the seabed.

Colner’s identity and her belonging to a far future age were not be made explicit at the beginning of the lecture, but were be gradually revealed: by means of a time-travelling storytelling from a past corresponding to the 20th and 21st centuries rich in well-known references, to the narration of future geological epochs and historical events which are unknown to us, leading to an uncanny effect of the lecture.

00 Atlas Proxima Nation25.tiff
Sarah C. Colner Performance-Lecture, Aula Magna, Florence University
Atlas Proxima, Natural History Museum of Florence
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