The work chronicles the conflicting and complex relationship between mother and daughter.
The mother is an archetypal figure who carries with her many contradictions: she is nourishment, roots, memory, belonging, and at the same time something to be distanced from in order to find one’s own identity.
It is the first intimate relationship we know, and perhaps the most intense; only through a lifelong journey of separation is it possible to see the person who fathered us for who she really is.
Reconstructing the mother figure as an adult is not unlike trying to grasp elusive memories like fish, to be stored and catalogued inside test tubes.
The 21 fish in the embroideries represent the many facets of her personality: an innate survival instinct, the need to escape all constraints while conforming to the pack, an almost autistic stubbornness to be worn like armor to protect her extreme fragility.
The box is composed of only seemingly random or contrasting elements: sharp objects to be guarded against, fragile materials to be handled with care, animal remains as ritual ingredients to exorcise its mystery, everyday objects as amulets to seize its essence.
The nursery rhyme from which the title originates, heard uttered by the artist’s mother countless times since childhood, encapsulates the full force of the magical thinking of a woman who had to cling to the will to get on in life by raising three children alone, yet failed to achieve what she desired.
”Chi nascerà pesciano / ha la fortuna in mano / con molta forza e ardire / conquista posti e lire / riflette ed intuisce / ma guai se l’atterrisce / l’accumulo dei beni / sorvegli sangue e reni” (he who will be born under the sign of Pisces / has good fortune in his hand / with much strength and boldness / he conquers places and money / he reflects and intuits / but woe if it terrifies him / the accumulation of goods / he oversees blood and kidneys).