In the early nineteenth century, during one of the first days of the Carnival of Venice, an adult male elephant wandered agitated and neurotic through the Venetian alleys.
At the first light of dawn he was shot to death after three powerful cannonades, one that broke through the side wall of the church where the pachyderm had flung itself, one that did not go to sign for the strong emotion of the gunner, and one that went to make center taking it in one of the less decorous points to facilitate the death of a creature like that: the ass.
Almost one century later, a young man who works at the University Museum of Zoology randomly finds the skeleton of an elephant, forgotten on a pallet in a warehouse, and it’s from this moment that Alberto Michelon began his career as a Taxidermist.
His great animal is before anyone else and contains all of them in his womb.
The taxidermist resurrects, is a keeper of illusions.
His discipline is similar to that of the biographer: it immobilizes a life, it’s the cryogenics of an instant, a pose that must be remembered once and forever.
We call them hastily “stuffed animals” but in this summary definition there is the alienating, disturbing beauty of what is no longer alive but tries to fix something that makes illusion of life.