Vol. 9 No. 2 (2016): Je est un autre. Mimicries in nature, art and society

L’estetica del camuffamento animale. Riflessioni sul mimetismo biologico

Published November 17, 2016
  • apparire,
  • camouflage,
  • R. Caillois,
  • A. Portmann
How to Cite
Maggiore, V. (2016). L’estetica del camuffamento animale. Riflessioni sul mimetismo biologico. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi dell’estetico, 9(2), 17-30. https://doi.org/10.13128/Aisthesis-19413


This article wants to investigate the logic of mimicry and their communicative function in animal life adopting an aesthetical perspective. The relationship between appearance and not-appearance, between the act of making itself visible and the act of disguising itself, is investigated starting from the morphological thought of the Swiss biologist Adolf Portmann, in a continuous dialogue with great thinkers of past and actual time – Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Hannah Arendt and Roger Caillois – and with the artistic illustrations of the American painter Abbott Thayer, concerned with the laws of color camouflage. This productive relationship among biology, aesthetics and artistic practice allows us to show that the sphere of the skin, far from being "superficial" and meaningless, is the privileged point of view for a true semiotics of the visible.


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