A Soft Land No Longer Distant is a sculpture realized in collaboration with the renowned Ceramica Gatti in Faenza, and follows up on the group of sculptures realized for the 57th Biennale di Venezia. The title makes reference to a work by Louise Bourgeois from 1967, called Soft Landscape, but also plays with the technical expression to “soft land”, as a way to mark a successfully controlled arrival of a spacecraft onto a planet. In this case it describes the viewer’s arrival in front of a distorted scientific topographic map of an improbable fictional landscape. The timeless settings are characterized by harsh volcanic stones that have been invaded by indefinite iridescent growths from a distant elsewhere. The piece finds inspiration and follows Arancio’s on-going fascination with elements of past scientific knowledge, whilst playing with their aesthetics and taking them into a more fantastic realm.
"I use clay as a way to play and to be playful with nature. It allows me to freeze, layer and collage time. It is alive, continuously shifting physically and chemically; it is visceral as much as it is alchemy, it’s dirty. It is animate, it is stillness, it is life and death. If a photograph is freezing reality, ceramic is freezing the imaginary."
(Salvatore Arancio, from the catalogue of 60 Fanze Prize, 2018)