I was struck by this recent story (and photo) from the Italian news service, ANSA. It seems a group of artists working in Milano is advocating a Slow ..... Life approach.
According to ANSA, twelve enormous pink “snails” have been placed in central Milan, part of an outdoor art installation that is designed to encourage fast-paced city residents to think about slowing down.
“Three metres long and two metres high, the huge molluscs are currently circling Piazza Scala in front of Milan's famous opera house and the nearby square in front of the Church of San Fedele,” reports ANSA.
“Passers-by have been unable to resist stopping to touch the bright pink snails made from recyclable plastic, whose tentacles are perkily extended to the sky,” the news report adds.
''Speed isn't always a virtue,'' Milan's culture councillor Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, who championed the installation by the Italian Cracking Art group, told ANSA.
''We need to play with the city to break with our obvious daily urban routine and rediscover the experience of moving about the city,” he added.
''These snails are in the streets not only as an invitation (for people to) slow down, but also to listen, since their shape is reminiscent of an ear.''
The 12 snails will make their way over to the piazza in front of Milan's Palazzo Reale in January and remain in the city until January 20th. City council then intends to send the installation abroad to Chicago, Amman and Tel Aviv - three cities that are twinned with Milan. The snails will return to Milan in time to help promote an Expo planned for the Milan in 2015.
The Cracking Art group includes three Italians, two Belgians and one French designer, and has been introducing giant brightly coloured plastic animals into cities worldwide since 1993.
ANSA reports that Cracking Art claims its aim is to change the history of art through its strong environmental commitment and the revolutionary use of plastic materials to evoke ''the close relationship between natural life and artificial reality''.