ELENA MAZZI / SARA TIRELLI
A FRAGMENTED WORLD
4 NOVEMBER – 7 DECEMBER 2020
Elena Mazzi and Sara Tirelli met after their studies, while both involved in the Venice art scene. Elena Mazzi is a visual artist with a site specific and interdisciplinary methodology. She works with geography and objects she understands as vessels to interrogate belonging within human and natural ecosystems. Provoked by the Venetian landscape, she has tackled climate change, deforestation, extinction, food and energy production, and migration in nomadic beekeeping, always looking at local case studies through a variety of materials - iconographic, visual, sound, oral, written – to address global systemic shifts. In 2009, her practice was affected by the earthquake that destroyed the Italian city of L’Aquila. The event and the mismanagement of its aftermath prompted Mazzi to shift her exploration to the effects of crisis when ecology and biology collide with politics.
Sara Tirelli is also a visual artist, but her explorations extend beyond the frame of contemporary art and into expanded cinema, virtual reality and immersive filmmaking beyond the commercial logic of production. In her practice, technology is both a means of representation and a language whose translation of reality needs to be questioned and steered towards a more inclusive approach. Tirelli, in fact, attempts to develop work that refocuses the attention from what is perceived to those traits of reality that have remained invisible to the retinal experience. This has implications for the production of narratives with a socio-political subtext.
A Fragmented World (2016) is inspired by the fracture theory, investigated by laboratory scientist Bruno Giorgini for over twenty years. According to this theory, if you can predict the anatomy of a fracture you will be able to anticipate the outbreak of a crisis or catastrophe. However, in spite of his efforts, Giorgini could never determine a formula before his recent retirement. This is when, five years ago, he proposed that the two artists take on what science had left inconclusive, and translate the concept of the fracture in a specific geo-political landscape through the tools of art instead, in order to draw a new conclusion. Elena Mazzi and Sara Tirelli opted for Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, whose activity produces constant ruptures and shifts in a landscape that has nevertheless been inhabited for decades.
That is why the national Institute of Vulcanology closely monitors the eruptions of Mount Etna and every ten years it uses all the collected data to remap its geological surface. Pinning these technical photographs as point of departure, and following the lead of several experts and Giorgini himself, the artists employed a drone and other filming techniques to shoot a runner as he crossed the fractures of Etna’s main crater, a labyrinthic everchanging terrain. The black and white aesthetics reinforce the timeless quality of the work, which was inspired by the daily workout of the runner on the volcano, and had no script, no beginning and no end. Just like a reenactment, A Fragmented World (2016) represents the extremes of coexistence when crisis is just another form of living.
THE EYE OF THE STORM – USER MANUAL
The Eye of the Storm is Blitz’s first online exhibition featuring videos and films by seven international artists and collectives invited to rethink and share their artworks in response to changes due to the pandemic.
In the physical galleries the rule is always the same: time follows space. A display is created based on the physical space, and the time of the visit will be reliant on the visitors’ attention span for the different artworks, and determined by the viewing conditions provided. For our first online exhibition, we have decided to prioritise time, whereby the artworks will be experienced in a sequence that collectively draws the viewer inward to a full coherence of the project.
From 3rd June one artwork is available monthly until December, when the last work will be revealed and all previously shown works made equally available. The exhibition will close at the end of the year, a symbolic date because that is when a collective attitude towards contemplating what we are leaving behind emerges, together with a confidence for new beginnings. Wherever we will be then, as we take it day by day in respect of fast-changing regulations, we hope that The Eye of the Storm will provide food for thought as we progress into the unknown.