Press Release

FMAV Fondazione Modena Arti Visive opens the exhibition Marina Caneve. On the Ground among the Animals curated by Daniele De Luigi. The project, among the winners of the 12th Italian Council programme (2023), is supported by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture.



International exhibitions

International ongoing exhibitions

Marina Canève, On the Ground among the Animals

FMAV, Modena (Italy)

07.06 - 06.10.2024




The project was presented to numerous international cultural partners during its production phase: CAP Centre d’Art Saint-Fons (with ICI Lyon), FOMU Foto Museum Antwerpen (with ICI Brussels), FOTODOK Utrecht (with ICI Amsterdam), Triennale Milano, Foundation for Biodiversity Research in Paris. A first exhibition opened in Slovenia on April 26, 2024 at UGM—Maribor Art Gallery, FMAV’s project partner, as part of EKO 9 Triennial of Art and Environment. The Modena exhibition is the final stage, presenting the complete project.

The title of the project is taken from one of the letters written to Felice Bauer by Franz Kafka, the centenary of whose death falls this year. With On the Ground among the Animals, Marina Caneve explores the ambiguities inherent in the dominating role played by human beings over nature and the tensions that emerge from their relationship with other animals. The artist takes her cue from an analytical study of the Natura 2000 project, the network of ecological corridors to preserve biodiversity promoted by the European Union. And so she creates a visual link between the infrastructures connecting the wild animals, the videos generated by the monitoring systems and the nature reserve landscapes. She touches on key themes such as migration and freedom of movement, non-human animal rights, ecosystem conservation and ultimately the possibility of rethinking human beings’ role in the world. 

The exhibition begins with a homage to writer Vitaliano Trevisan and a triptych of images with a passage taken from his I quindicimila passi (The 15,000 Steps), introducing the topic of the conflict between human desires and needs and the order of natural space. A large series of colour photographs focus on the landscape of the nature reserves, paying particular attention to the presence of animals, barriers and flow monitoring systems. In parallel, the artist starts from theoretical research to present a series of photographs responding to cultural, technical and social investigation into the topics of infrastructure, design, animals and their depiction, policies, freedom of movement and preservation of biodiversity. The visual research includes architecture built by the animals such as termite mounds.  

Some of the most important infrastructures in the network are the bridges which help the animals get around architectural barriers: fencing directs the paths the animals take and monitoring cameras trace their movements, calling into question their effective freedom. The bridges were photographed by Marina Caneve on the field in several EU countries: the Netherlands, France, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Denmark, Greece, Spain and Italy. The black-and-white images conjure up the idea of documents or a type of architecture. The installation on display, made alongside exhibition design studio Etaoin Shrdlu, brings to mind an infrastructure to “realize cosmic order”, as inspired by Superstudio’s Continuous Monument.  

Then, taking inspiration from the footage of “camera traps” set up by the researchers to document and monitor the animals on the bridges, Marina Caneve has created a three-channel video installation, whose animal and human presence suggests that we reflect on contemporary migration policies, surveillance and intrusive images. The videos are accompanied by an original sound track composed by Renato Rinaldi, inspired by Kafka’s short stories as “Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk”, sounds from nature, and deterrence sounds to keep animals away from danger.

The project also boasts two technical sponsors: Amsterdam-based publisher Fw:Books, which will publish On the Ground among the Animals, a book produced in collaboration with renowned graphic designer Hans Gremmen, and Ghella.

Italian Council is a programme of the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture. Established in 2017, it has the specific task of promoting the production, knowledge and dissemination of contemporary Italian creation abroad. 

Marina Caneve, Escape-device, Copenaghen, Denmark, 2024.

Marina Caneve, Escape-device, Copenaghen, Denmark, 2024.

Exhibition 08 June - 08 September 2024. Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Limmatstrasse 270 - 8005 Zürich (Switzerland). T +41 44 277 20 50. Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm, Thursday 11am–8pm.





Marina Canève, On the Ground among the Animals, FMAV, Modena (Italy)

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2024 All Rights Reserved