Anamorphosis is made by distorted images and forms that, as Jurgis Baltrusaitis puts it, "if observed from a certain point in space, or reflected in certain ways, are rectified" revealing "figures that at first sight are not perceptible". This optical illusion underlies the signage project conceived by graphic designer Nello Russo for the exhibition "Mente locale", held from June to September 2012 at CESAC, Experimental Centre for Contemporary Arts at the Caraglio Spinning Mill in SW Piedmont. The exhibition was produced as part of an unusual application of the New Patrons' methodology, that lead a group citizens living in the Cuneo area to commission the exhibition theme, as part of a reflection on the relationship between cultural demand and cultural supply.
The construction of the informative meta-system conceived by Nello Russo arose from the desire expressed by the patrons that visitors could be guided in the exhibition by means of an open visual system, and from the interpretation of some themes and key words that emerged during collective discussions: "privileged view point, consciousness-raising, revelation, oblique glance, meditation zones, decompression zones". The work comprises a series of distorted textual graphics inserted into the exhibition space, that are only correctly readable from one specific position. In Russo's "Anamorphic meta-signage", the indications: "guarda oltre" (look beyond), "per di qua" (this way), "fino al là" (up to there), "appena fuori" (just outside), are ambivalent observation stations that require the visitors a continual adjustment of their viewpoint.
Nello Russo (Turin, Italy, 1979), free-lance visual designer, has taken degrees in Graphic Design at Turin Polytechnic and in Visual Arts at IUAV, Venice. He has lived in New York, where he worked in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum graphic office. He devised SO-AND-SO, an artistic-editorial project to produce and publish a monographic periodical as a limited edition, each issue with a different artist. To date it has involved collaboration with the Germans of eBoy and with the Dutchman Han Hoogerbrugge.