Workshop with Elena Mazzi

workshop con Elena Mazzi

Elena Mazzi

As is consistent with her own work and research, Elena Mazzi used location as the starting point for her workshop. The location on this occasion was Manifattura Tabacchi, with its rationalist architecture, its characterful hidden corners and open squares, but also the worlds that gave life to these spaces, imprinted in the memories of their past inhabitants, if invisible to the eye today. The idea of wonder emerges in the fascination of these stories and in these visual evocations, and this is what formed the basis of this workshop.

Elena Mazzi chose the book Species of Spaces by Georges Perec as a means of guiding the observation, analysis and perception of space, as well as the interaction with it. The first two days were characterised by a free and attentive analysis of the interior and exterior spaces at Manifattura Tabacchi. The group retraced their steps through the area where the artists in residence usually work, and then went into the construction site, where each artist recorded a series of sounds, using sound as a way of identifying the interaction with the space.


The course continued into the surrounding neighbourhood, a fundamental step for understanding the wider context and for training the eye. Public housing, shops, streets, embankments and sidewalks, everything became study material, with the idea of focusing on previously unnoticed aspects, especially those apparently more obvious or trivial.


The workshop concluded with each artist creating their own composition, their own narration which, according to the lesson from Perec, reflected on the content of form. Each piece of writing is clearly personal and mirrors the different approaches that each of them took; descriptive, intimate, observational, or in the form of a diary.


The experimentation with narration would, however, find a common spatial limit, identified in the format of an A4 page. The compositions will be placed in different parts of Manifattura Tabacchi and will share, along with the format, both colour and sound. Whilst the colour will remain the same for all of the compositions, the sounds will change, replaying the individual samples that each artist recorded during the workshop. The assembly of these different creations, narrative and sound, results in a collective work made up of different literary interventions, a nomadic work in the sense that a common connection links these dispersed points of focus.