H. 07 pm
Mundus has at least two meanings in Latin. It can stand for world, that is The widest group of existing things thinkable – among which there is man and his productions - as well as, even though it is a rarer etymology, underworld. De Mundus, the website/project of graphic designers and artists Giorgio Di Salvo and Tommaso Garner, seems to make both meaning coexist. It deals with an endless catalogue, that tends, by its own nature, to "simulate" the endlessness of images representing "existing things", collected from the web by the curators according to their own aesthetic taste, which is raw, violent, ironic and grotesque at the same time. Scrolling down the website with the trackpad the images appear overlapping one another following allegoric directions, which are made evident through assonance effects and juxtapositions of different kinds: sometimes purely formal, others clearly more ontological and taxonomic.
The Anassimandro's famous fragment of the IV century B.C., which is considered as one of the key points of Western philosophical thought, is useful to explain Garner and Di Salvo's work. It says: " the beginning of beings is the infinite/non-finite(apeiron)….from the place where the beings originate, there they dissolve too according to necessity, because they pay to each other the pain and expiation of injustice following the time's order." In De Mundus' case, it's obvious, the infinite under scrutiny is nothing but the web as a "doppelganger" of the real as well as its storage/dump, from which the two artists "sample" the material for their catalogue of beings, their Mundus of existing things that come into light and dissolve one after another "according to necessity" of the scrolling function that keeps on making them subside in order to merge them with the non-finite "double" where they come from: that of the internet first and then that of the sensible world which they are images of. Through the sampling and selection process, the two curators tear their materials out of the original absence of context and bonds in order to shortly bring them to life - a scrolling time long – a life of hyper real outlines precisely because of its allegory, within their Mundus which because of its subsiding nature is also an underworld. That way the De Mundus experience is conceived as a travel's journal through the hell of the reality and the human imaginary, a catalogue of oddities, horrors, monstrosities, excesses, mega structures and pure forms that ironically testifies the contradictory nature and transience of the "beauty" category, replacing it with the certainly more universal one of "power".
As a confirmation of an ontological oddity that can be sensed right from the first approach to the habitat, that is the internet, that host it, De Mundus exits the web with an installation sound-tracked by Nic Sarno's music.