[Photos: Jean Christophe Lett]

[...] your dialogue with nature was only the image,
outside of you, of a dialogue that was going on inside.

René Daumal, Traité d'alpinisme analogique, 1938 (preparatory notes for Le Mont analogue)  

Le Mont analogue is known as one of the most enigmatic texts of modernity: an expedition of mountaineers sets out to discover an immense mountain, located in the middle of the southern portion of the Pacific Ocean, and rendered invisible by a "shell of curved space. Although the group of explorers manages to overcome the obstacle, when the ascent begins, the narrative comes to an abrupt halt: their impossible journey is destined to have no end.

Monts intérieurs d’un monde analogue is indeed the title of an exhibition, but perhaps it should be imagined more as an expedition, this one too to lands that do not seem to belong to the visible world. In addition to René Daumal's text, Nelson Pernisco is inspired by cavernous places he has visited on recent trips - including the Grotte des Demoiselles in France and the grotesque sculpture of the Ogre with its mouth wide open in the Park of the Monsters in Bomarzo, Italy - and which the artist reworks in his quest to reinvent the world. To create new worlds that allow us to better understand our own: this is basically the principle of any artistic endeavor. These worlds can often find unexpected and surprising forms, sometimes disturbing.

Animated by the demon of analogy, and resulting from a dialogue between the artist and himself - his experiences, his intuitions, his inner mounts - the forms of this installation specifically conceived for the Passage des fougères draw a hybrid landscape, halfway between the mineral and vegetable kingdoms. Thus those which, at first sight, could appear to us as calcareous concretions, such as stalactites or stalagmites, could just as well be the plants of a forest coming from another planet, or the anthropocenic ruins or the fossil remains of a civilization disappeared for a long time, following a natural or nuclear catastrophe.

This doubt is accompanied by a feeling of disquieting strangeness, as if the inert matter - salt, sulfur, aluminum castings, among other elements and composites - that the artist explores, masters and mixes like a new alchemist, was in a state of uninterrupted movement and transformation. First witness of this permanent metamorphosis, Nelson Pernisco calls the spectator to share his same path towards an imaginary and symbolic elsewhere, and to witness with him the phenomena of sedimentation, erosion, concretion and crystallization of an installation that becomes an environment, conceived before anything else as a strange immersive organism, both mineral and living.

[Text: Vittorio Parisi]

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