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 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”.
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.
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.
Residence Botkyrka is supported by Botkyrkabyggen.