Cultural anthropology is the framework for Nico Vascellari's artwork which combines performance, sculpture, drawings, collages, videos and sonic extravaganzas. Folklore, nature and the alternative underground scene contribute to the artist's unusual analysis of contemporary visual culture. Vascellari, himself a singer in the punk band With Love, and duo Ninos du Brasil, operates using rebellious artistic gestures that originate in tribal rituals of an archaic world.
Being both musician and artist, Nico Vascellari combines his sculptural installations with sound performances. Through his performances he investigates the relationship between the viewer, the space and the action. He is drawn to cult figures connected to the music scene with whom he collaborates or to which he reacts in his work. Inspired by his fascination with rituals, spiritualism and cult, he reflects on destruction as a driving, creative energy. This leads him into the idea of mapping spaces, energies, sounds and nature, all of which are central themes in his work.
For the Whitworth
, Vascellari will continue his experimental practice, creating a work that engulfs the Landscape Gallery with mysticism, phenomena and the inexorable presence of nature. The starting point is a place located deep in the forest of Cansiglio in northern Italy, a location that has fascinated him since childhood. This Bus de la Lum (Hole of Light) is the name of a large natural cavity right in the heart of the forest of the Cansiglio plateau. Shrouded in legend, it was believed to emanate arcane powers associated with magic rituals oblivion and destruction for those men or animals unfortunate enough to venture there; moonless nights haunted by witches, will-o-the-wisps, miasma, moss and rocks. During World War Two, Bus de la Lum acquired a somewhat less mythical fame as a pit of horror where hundreds of unidentified individuals were thrown in with their hands tied behind their back.
Vascellaris ties with the places of his childhood have always been one of the fundamental elements of his artistic research. Over the years he has developed it with new and increasing vigour in an attempt to build up a sensorial communication channel with Nature and capture its poetry, intrinsic strength and dramatic power.