Pastore di greggi di tarli: Gianfranco Baruchello e l’allevamento di anubidi

Gianlorenzo Chiaraluce

The main subject of this paper is Allevamento di tarli a partire da un chilo di zucchero in forma di torrone (Breeding of woodworms from a kilo of sugar in the form of nougat), a peculiar artwork by Gianfranco Baruchello dated between 1974 and 1988, useful to clarify its relationship with the animal and minimal entities such as insects. Today the artwork appears as a modestly sized wooden box, covered on the front by a sheet of glass, inside which is another wooden box containing a packet of nougat and a sheet of paper with notes written by the artist. Actually, Baruchello had initially placed the sweets in the box in order to carry out an experiment focused on the mutation of the object in a given time lapse. Only later he realised the presence of unexpected guests: an autogenous community of anubids had begun to populate the reduced space of the container, as they were attracted by the source of nourishment found in it. This contribution aims therefore to reconstruct, through a study of the sources preserved in the Baruchello Foundation in Rome, the genesis and conformation of the aforementioned artwork, analysing more specifically the creative relationship that Baruchello entertained with the animal community.