Spanish artist, Daniele Del Nero’s enchanting and grotesque collection entitled, “After Effects,” presents a series of subterranean structures beneath a sheath of mold. Similar to his other projects, Del Nero is concerned with what the effects of the passage of time on an inanimate object communicate. It takes a thoughtful eye to discover the success of Del Nero’s work; he describes “After Effects,” “My purpose is to talk about the sense of time and destiny of the planet after the human species, through the sense of restlessness which abandoned buildings are able to communicate.” While a sense of restlessness may at first be difficult to discover, Del Nero’s strange models hold your attention and tell their story of unrequited existence.
His architectural models truly are inventive; he has covered black paper models with a layer of flour and mold. Over time the building models display a look of abandonment. White, webby mold attaches itself to the structures creating what appear as large, dense cobwebs. Black mold positioned on the roofs and walls of the buildings exhibit the rotting decay of what might have been. At first glance, ‘After Effects’ is a gnarley and otherworldly neighborhood.
To see these vacant domiciles as ‘restless’ requires one to imagine first, a world with no humans and second, what might happen to everything when humans are gone. A sense of restlessness arises when one imagines the use of a house– a structure made by humans for humans– without anyone to live in it. This thought brings a new and vital dimension to Del Nero’s work.
Mold appears to devour Del Nero’s buildings, deleting them, unlike humans, as if they had never been there. As hosts to the mold, his buildings display the beauty in decay, rot that is alive with the power to destroy.
Again, restlessness arises in all cases, from the Victorian houses to the towering apartment buildings, because Del Nero’s inanimate structures remain helpless while all around them mold grows. The mold is a living cancer on the paper, continually informing the host of its deleterious destiny. The buildings appear as disturbed, cavernous organs with no choice but to endure the spread of mold– they are restless in their powerlessness over the effects of the mold over time.
No doubt Del Nero’s engineering and architecture background helped to inform this project. However, it is his training in visual communication that is expertly exhibited through “After-Effects,” because his vital work puts the viewer in dialogue with their surroundings by posing questions about the future.