You start by looking at your hands, driven by curiosity, and then you look at the mirror and examine your nose, your eyes, your mouth that gapes open to stick the tongue out, like when you are at the doctor’s. Your mother comes into the bathroom but she is not the same as she was ten minutes before, her nose is now an object of study (does her nose look like mine? Is she really my mother? Her nose does not seem to confirm it). Without understanding why, you have got on a train whose stops are strange: the neighbour’s hunch, the short and crooked legs of the village’s dwarf, the long and muscular legs of the cyclists. It is a huge station, the medical encyclopaedia forgotten at home by your aunt who was supposed to study medicine, such a big station that it is easy to get lost for entire days. Years go by and, by chance, in a bookshop you find the Taschen book Encyclopaedia anatomica with pictures of the anatomical waxes from La Specola in Florence (La Specola in Florence? Is it a museum?). Then you start to visit museums like that and to study art, and a teacher shows you a handbook of artistic anatomy. You become a publisher (who would have said that?) and at the Frankfurt Book Fair you come across a book by Emmanuelle Houdart, La Garde-robe, you immediately fall in love with it and you discover afterwards (always afterwards) that those images show a dissection of the phases that every woman has somehow gone through. Feelings that are analysed and put on paper among bowels and bones, skin and hair. The multitude of meetings that followed one another during your existence has made you know, and listen to, and look at so many people, and some of them had an obsession for anatomy which encouraged you to visit other museums and unexplored places. Embalming, tannization, pickles (sorry, I meant teratological preparations), and plastination.
The knowledge of our body, the need to open it and discover how it works until you reach its basic element: the soul, translated into organs, bones, features, body postures. The story of the life of a human being that you meet only as a skeleton several decades after his/her decease. Even Leonardo is charged with a new meaning. A blaze of passion for science which sprang from art or of passion for art which sprang from science.
If you dissect art, bodies, minds, souls and feelings, you will discover that anatomy is endless, like we are and like our curiosity. Curiosity. The only mechanism that makes the world move and that, hélas, we do our best to atrophy, control and censor.
By chance, without having planned anything, driven by the vicissitudes of life, after a few years, I recall what happened and discover that there had always been a one and only way, that has made me choose Anatomies for January 2014. A succession of images from the books I love, courtesy of artists, illustrators, photographers and writers. Meetings with people that, like I do, love dissection passionately and shamelessly.