Overview participating exhibitions

Der Aa-kerk

Der Aa-kerk

Francesca Catastini


In THE MODERN SPIRIT IS VIVISECTIVE, Francesca Catastini considers autopsy, the dissection of humans and animals, as a mental achievement. Texts from the seventeenth century describe the hands of the anatomist as an instrument of the physical realm, and his eyes as an instrument of a higher level. The purpose of dissection was a mental reordering. In anatomical theatres, executed criminals in particular were dissected for an educated as well as a paying audience. The theatres were set up to ensure optimal viewing. This first act of dissection was of just as much significance to man as the discovery that the earth orbits the sun. Vivisection, literally meaning the dissection of living beings, functions as a metaphor here for the human quest for knowledge and the notion of scopophilia – the feeling of lust that is connected to looking. Catastini combines found photographs with her own, ironic images into a structure of overlapping parts: about looking, feeling, cutting and discovering.


Francesca Catastini (Italy, 1982), after discontinuing her Biology degree, gained her Master’s degree in Photography and Visual Design at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan. Outside of Italy, her work has been shown in exhibitions in France, Spain, England and Finland. Catastini’s photobook The Modern Spirit is Vivisective won the ViennaPhotoBookAward in 2016.