Neon ice-cream, 100 cm high
If I don’t taste it it will melt on your fingers is an edition by Vanessa Safavi composed of fifteen different neon ice cream signs. Originally created as a permanent public installation for Luci d’Artista 2013 in the city of Turin, the original public commission consists of fifty-four neon reproductions of Turin’s existing “gelaterie” signs. The signs have all been reproduced according to their original design, but scaled to 100 cm in height. Fifteen of these exemplars have then been chosen for singular editions. Safavi often works with the idea of cultural cliché, and the ice cream cone is a stereotypical tourist indulgence. Safavi’s practice investigates the role of the observer and therefore embraces the figure of the tourist, particularly the cultural affects of tourism when aligned with the public expectation of exoticism. If the ice cream is a sign of Italian life and cuisine, it is also a recognizable symbol of pleasure and holidaying. As an affordable sweet treat with beautiful, round curves and colours, the ice cream is a sign of pure enjoyment.