Non-verbal Club designs FLEE’s second issue ‘Tarantismo: Odyssey of an Italian Ritual’
FLEE is a ‘cultural engineering platform’ dedicated to the documentation and enhancement of hybrid cultures. It was founded by Alan Marzo, Olivier Duport and Carl Åhnebrink in 2017 and actively functions as a record label, publishing house and exhibition organiser. Their work is released via a vinyl record and book combination, with each ‘issue’ exploring a different topic. The first, which released alongside the platform’s foundation, is a visual and audial study of Kenyan Benga music.
The second, ‘Tarantismo: Odyssey of an Italian Ritual’ is a tribute to Pizzica, a piece of antique music used to heal people suffering from a mysterious disease known as Tarantism. Its ‘victims’ display hysteric behaviour that’s believed to result from the bite of a Lycosa Tarantula wolf spider. However, no link between the bites and the behaviour has ever been found. Tarantism is most common in Southern Italy and is used to refer to a dancing mania, which supposedly developed from an obscure form of therapy.
Porto-based studio Non-verbal Club worked closely with FLEE’s editorial team to develop the printed publication and double LP on this confusing topic. For the latter, the spider was “an obvious graphic element to use in order to create a strong and recognisable cover”. They paired it with Century Schoolbook Mono set in uppercase and an indented layout system to mimic the wild nature of the subject matter. The book follows suit, with daunting images of Tarantism’s victims adding to the intriguing narrative.