Hitnes – Rome, Italy

Hitnes, Nido, 2012. Click to enlarge.

In late 2015, Italian artist Hitnes embarked on a twenty-city road trip throughout America with the goal of retracing the endeavors of John James Audubon in the 19th century. Audubon’s ambitious goal was to document all of the birds in the country, and these well-known drawings made up his book The Birds in America. Captivated by the enormous scope of Audubon’s goal, Hitnes traveled across the country, aiming to cover in three months what Audubon did in as many decades. Hitnes’s journey on one hand allowed him to explore the state of the birds nearly two centuries after Audubon encountered them. But it also became an all-encompassing performance project in which he gathered materials and made sketches, created public murals, and documented his interactions with a wide range of Americans in video.

Hitnes’s exhibition in Fall of 2018 will document his journey, elaborating on what it is that drives a person to dedicate multiple decades of their life to pursuing an obsession like Audubon did. The exhibition will also be accompanied by the premiere of a feature-length documentary film on Hitnes’s trip, directed by filmmaker Giacomo Agnetti. Hitnes was also an artist in residence during late Summer 2017 at the Halsey Institute, where he further explored the connection between John James Audubon and Charleston.


Community Partners 2017