Artists and Projects


Elena Mazzi



about the artist

Elena Mazzi (b. 1984, Reggio Emilia) is an Italian based artist who often works from specific contexts, reinterpreting cultural and natural heritages of places. Using a variety of media, her works are interweaving stories, facts and fantasies handed down by local communities, in order to suggest possible resolutions to the man-nature-culture conflict. Her somewhat anthropological working method favours a holistic approach aimed at repairing the rifts that occur in society. She begins the work with observation and proceeds by combining various areas of knowledge.

Elena Mazzi, installation of Reflecting Venice, . Photo: Anneli Bäckman

about the residency

Elena Mazzi had her first stay in Residence Botkyrka in November 2010 – January 2011. She wanted to research the relationship between people and the spaces they inhabit and how collective memories activate social spaces. The research was later published in the essay: “Collective Memory and Social Space: learning from the post-earthquake reconstruction of L’Aquila and Stockholm’s one million homes program”.

My staying at Residence Botkyrka gave me the possibility to be in touch with the environment I was looking for. My work on Modernist Style’s satellite cities around Europe has assumed a real form after living in Fittja for two months. Here, the concept of Functionalism has been pushed at extreme levels during Sixities and Seventies. The day-by-day routine helped me to understand better a society that does not exist anymore, but that was part of our history. We everyday face with the past, and the traditions that we take with us, all over the world. The warm and inviting atmosphere found at Multicultural Centre close to the apartment helped me to concentrate and confront with different researchers. I think this kind of evironment gives artists the opportunity to develop projects based on private/public space and multiculturalism. But what does it mean multiculturalism if not sharing knowledge with people? The process started in Botrkyrka will continue in Centrifug space at Konsthall C, from the 9th to the 27th of March with Preview Platform, and will end in May with a performance that will take place through the suburbs, with the collaboration of Per Wirtén, Andrzej Markiewicz and Botkyrka Konsthall. (Elena Mazzi, January 2011)

In 2014 Elena participated in the Fittja Pavilion in Venice and the New Biennial for Art & Architecture in Botkyrka.


fittja pavilion

Elena Mazzi
Reflecting Venice
Installation (2014)

Reflecting Venice is a project that investigates the possibility of responding to last year’s increase of environmental issues affecting Venice. Through the application of an interdisciplinary methodology, Reflecting Venice explores technological innovation and its implications. Considering local context in conjunction with new environmental goals is beneficial in redefining their broader effectiveness and functionality. Reflecting Venice began with a collaboration with Isomorph, a company based in Udine, Italy, specialised in environmental physics as well as in the development of innovative energy systems; specifically, the project refers to their prototype of Linear Mirror II.

Reflecting Venice operates in a specific area of Venetian territory: Murano island, known globally for its handmade glass. However, today the island is facing a gradual transformation; while it remains a precious historical and cultural heritage site, it conversely displays a fetishized representation of international mass tourism. Mazzi has focused on a characteristic technique of engraving on mirrors, a typical local craft tradition that is rapidly being replaced by massproduced simpler glass items. The decorative elements, representing flowers and plants, come from the 17thand 18th centuries, have in Mazzi’s work been replaced with endangered flowers and plants from Venice Lagoon. These new drawings, created in collaborations with Murano’s masters, have been directly applied to the energy system Linear Mirror II.

Elena Mazzi, Reflecting Venice, installation (2014).

the new biennial for art & architecture

LACUNA. Land of hidden spaces

Video work and a series of drawing that were presented during the New Biennial for Art & Architecture in 2014.

The work is part of a bigger project, called Reflecting Venice; the work is responding to recent years increase of environmental issues affecting Venice. Through the application of an interdisciplinary methodology, Reflecting Venice explores technological innovation and its implications. The video strives to combine and intertwine the different ‘actors’ of the project: a prototype of a solar wall made with mirrors, referring to Archimedes’ inventions, the ancient tradition of engraved glass in Murano (Venice), and the fragile environment of the Lagoon, now in peril.

Photo: Simon Berg

collaboration and support

Residence Botkyrka is supported by Botkyrkabyggen.