Dismembered Rafflesia, 2019

Among the textiles in Biscotti’s exhibition new work at Witte de With, two breeds of flowers are pictured: amorphophallus titanium and rafflesia.
Both species are commonly referred to as corpse flowers. Their inflorescence’s reddish color and texture likened to human flesh. Their scent, to a body in decay. Their foul odor attracts insects such as flies, which transports pollen from male to female flowers. In some species the flower maybe over 100 centimeter in diameter, and weigh up to 10 kilograms. The artist’s rendering of the flowers is an intimation of their popularity such as in fabric design, which augmented after being imported to Europe.

With this particular work, Biscotti shows an image of the latter breed, the rafflesia. As the official state flower of Indonesia , it is there known as puspa langka (‘rare flower’), or as padma paksasa (‘giant flower’) of Sabah state in Malaysia and of Surat Thani Province in Thailand.

Drawing inspiration from imagery in the annals of the Buitenzorg Botanical Garden (volume XXXII, 1923), the body of this rare flower is here shown dismembered. Biscotti addresses this scientific study as a seminal image that went on to alter the system of botanics and agriculture in the years that followed.

For Biscotti, rubber has a resemblance to skin and she likens the working of skin to the uses of textiles as in to cover and wrap. The resistance and even saggy property of rubber is also of particular interest to the artist. She has thus created rubber ropes which she uses as a kind of lath in this work, as well as in the other silkscreened prints in the exhibition at Witte de With.

source: wall text at “Rossella Biscotti; new work”, Witte de With, 2019

Rossella Biscotti
Dismembered Rafflesia, 2019
silkscreen on cotton, rubber
Rossella Biscotti
Dismembered Rafflesia, 2019
silkscreen on cotton, rubber
Installation view Rossella Biscotti, new work, 2019, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam