The Hermitcrab’s Wundershell, Flaminia Veronesi

Milan, Italy

Inhabiting the sprawling Marni flagship store in Milan, Italy, is A#23 contributor Flaminia Veronesi’s installation of paintings and sculptures entitled The Hermitcrab’s Wundershell. The Italian artist’s solo exhibition transforms the already jovial space, designed by Brinkworth and the Wilson Brothers, into a whimsical microcosm conceived as the wunderkammer of a family of hermit crabs.

Among the collection of shells and mythological iconography is the pièce de résistance, a conical structure bearing resemblance to a vulva or Socratic cave standing on the top floor of the store. Troves of delightful objects, which function as squatting protagonists in this fantastical narrative, are found within the pink organic walls. The allegory of a hermit crab seeking shelter in a shell is immediate, begging the question of whether clothing is to be inhabited as well.

This poignant question is perhaps addressed by Marni’s Spring Summer 2023 collection, currently in stores and featuring a collaboration between A#23 curator and creative director Francesco Risso and Flaminia Veronesi. Clothing, bags and accessories throughout the store are adorned with the colourful motifs and characters that populate Veronesi’s world, combining the duo’s imaginative power and disseminating it through both wearable pieces and physical experience.

Risso’s cultivation and appreciation of unbridled creativity is as apparent in his collections as in his Via Montenapoleone store, which has also served as a residency for another friend and A#23 contributor, Icelandic artist Shoplifter. The Hermitcrab’s Wundershell is a testament to the childlike curiosity central to the Marni universe, one that contemplates life and all its details with a sense of wonder and amusement.

The exhibition runs through April 30th, 2023 at the Marni Flagship Store, Via Montenapoleone 26, Milan.

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