Something unexpected lies beneath the manholes of Lodi, Italy. Within the subterranean spaces are cozy replicas of home. Cheery wallpaper patterns the interiors, while paintings and clocks hang on the walls. One setting is a replica of a shower stall, complete with showerhead, a hanging towel, and blue and white checkered tiles. Displacement of these familiar scenes dug into the earth both intrigues and sets the observer on (figurative and literal) edge. The installation, entitled Borderlife, is Milan artist Biancoshock’s effort to call attention to the measures taken by more than 600 people in Bucharest when extreme living conditions after the fall of Romania’s Communist Party in 1989 led inhabitants to retreat underground. On his website, the artist writes, “If some problems cannot be avoided, make them comfortable.” His statement is bittersweet—not quite defeat but the hope to maintain a sense of home in dire times. The audience, meanwhile, is reminded that his artwork only scratches the surface of a problem that goes much deeper.
Image via Biancoshock. See more on biancoshock.com.