Erika Verzutti’s Centipede, at Art Basel Parcours, Sportplatz, Rittergasse 5
In Basel, beside the meandering Rhine, lies an outdoor basketball court, its red asphalt surface baking in the sun. To one side is a concrete wall. Today however there’s a pause in play: no stray balls will bounce against this wall for a while. No, for now, the wall belongs to a strange creature. A giant bronze centipede, seemingly mid undulating crawl. But look closer: the tergites of the creature’s body aren’t what they would at first appear. Each segment takes the form of a cast banana. Bunched together they give life to this monstrous beast, the curve of the fruit mimicking that of the insect’s exoskeleton. It has no head. With this startling sculpture (at once seductive and repulsive) Verzutti asks us to consider the formal qualities of flora and fauna. To abstract the natural for purpose of better consideration. Down by the river, we remember the Antoni Gaudí maxim that ‘there are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature’.
Published online 13 June 2017