An escargatoire (yup, that’s what it’s called) of giant pink snails is wrapping up their visit to Miami Beach this month, preparing to migrate towards other parts of the United States.
These colourful invertebrates — the largest of which measure 8 feet tall — are made entirely of recycled plastic and are intended to pique curiosity and encourage conversations on recycling and other issues of environmental sustainability. The forty-five snails are part of a larger initiative known as the REgeneration Art Project, which places big, bright animal installations in unexpected locations across the globe, including Rome, Venice, Prague and Paris.
Cracking Art Group chose the snail — a symbol of nature created from recycled, artificial material with a minimal carbon footprint — for a variety of metaphorical reasons: First, it calls to mind the sense of hearing, as its shape resembles the human ear. Second, it alludes to the concept of housing, since the snail carries its house and is virtually enclosed in it when necessary. Third, it evokes the ideas of modernity and communication as represented by the snail’s “antennae.”
The exhibition is curated by renowned Italian directors Gloria Porcella and Lamberto Petrecca. It is their hope that the snails encourage the public to “re-examine existing perceptions of urban life, and inspire us to play with our cities, as well as to mentally and physically rejuvenate them, in other words, to REgenerate them into more healthy, vibrant, animated and loving environments.”
To find out where the snails will strike next, visit pinksnails.com.