Sickle (Plow) is a work which deceives by its appearance. Characteristic for its ambiguity, the work combines attributes and formal references of machinery, animals, and crops and is distinctive for its relationship with agriculture.
The work continues Francesconi’s scrutiny of the void between man and land, where the process of growing crops has been replaced for food production, where manual labor and the proximity to earth has been substituted for mechanization, and where food is made with utter disrespect of land’s needs. The work is composed of appropriated and modified elements, such as a sickle and real seasonal produce, welded and placed to resemble a plow’s formal features, the object, which moves the ground, i.e., that works the land. The seasonal produce attached to the metal structure point to the growing interdependency between food production and mechanical automatization, gradually separating the body from the earth and irrevocably affecting western society’s relation to food production, agriculture, and the labor market.
Marked by a strong sense of materiality, the symbolic language of Francesconi’s work and the use of attributes characteristic of classical sculpture serves to narrate a contemporary crisis, which in its core is not a crisis of agriculture but a socio-political crisis affecting all parts of life.