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Epimeleia

Elena Mazzi

exhibition views at Artopia Gallery, Milan

February 9, 2024 - March 22, 2024

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Photos by Matteo Pasin

Artopia Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Elena Mazzi’s (Reggio Emilia, 1984) solo exhibition, a site-specific project for the new venue, entitled Epimeleia, a Greek term of Socratic ori- gin that properly indicates self-care. The artist returns to exhibit at the gallery after her duo show with Ella Littwitz in September 2022.

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Algid, at times surgical, - writes Adriana Rispoli in the text that accompanies the exhibition - Elena Mazzi’s visual alphabet hides a deep holistic feeling, egregiously intertwined with militant positions that make her a brilliant interpreter of ecofeminist visions. Science and anthropology, botany and sociology condense into an eclectic yet organic artistic production, in which the need for harmony with nature passes through the recognition of the importance of community, as the only true core of belonging of the individual.

 

Epimeleia moves from this premise, an exhibition consisting of three bodies of work that testify to the coherence of both Elena Mazzi’s aesthetic and conceptual research. The works on display, spanning from video, sculpture and photography, all contribute to the visualization of the same message: the care and search for harmony between body and landscape.

 

Welcomes the visitor, at the ground floor, the installation Written and unwritten dance (2023), dedicated to a lesser-known version of the Taranta dance, the “Pizzica Serpentata Cegliese”, symbolised by the snake. The archetypal dimension of the wide, precious cloths that stretch sinuously on the floor, imitating precisely the movement of the snake, is juxtaposed with the collective dimension of POÇ (2023), which in the Friulian language means well. The film, a poetic reflection around a rock-cut pool, is a transposition of the artist’s re- cent participatory project carried out in the mountains of Friuli, with the community of Moggio Udinese.

The upper floor is, instead, transformed by Elena Mazzi into an intimate space. Stills from the video Encounters (2021) frame an imaginary pool on which the “organic jewelled sculptures” Becoming with and unbecoming with lay suspended. The cast silver cetacean vertebrae dialogue with volumes made of Murano glass, a material at the same time liquid and solid. The series, begun in 2018 during repeated stays in Iceland, is presented here in a brand-new production.

The exhibition Epimeleia turns the gallery into a theater for a ritual practice in which water is the central element, conserving an ancestral thaumaturgic value of healing, purification and cure.
The artist will be present during the opening and a critical text by Adriana Rispoli accompanies the exhibition.

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Elena Mazzi

Elena Mazzi (Reggio Emilia, 1984) lives and works in Turin.
Starting from the examination of specific territories, in her works, she revisits the cultural and natural heritage of the places intertwining stories, facts, and fantasies transmitted by local communities, in order to suggest possible resolutions to the human-nature-culture conflict. The artist participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, in institutions such as der TANK in Basel (CH), MADRE in Naples (IT), ar/ge kunst in Bolzano (IT), Sodertalje Konsthall in Stockholm (SE), Whitechapel Gallery in London (UK), BOZAR in Brussels (BE), Museo del Novecento of Florence (IT), MAGA of Gallarate (IT), GAMEC in Bergamo (IT), mambo in Bologna (IT), Sonje Art Center in Seoul (KOR), Palazzo Fortuny in Venice (IT), Fondazione Golinelli in Bologna (IT), 16. Quadriennale in Rome (IT), GAM in Turin (IT)14 Is- tanbul Biennale (TR), 17. BJCEM Biennale del Mediterraneo, COP17 in Durban (ZA), Istituto Italiano di Cultura in New York (USA), Bruxelles (BE), Stockholm (SE), Johannesburg (ZA) and Cape Town (ZA), Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa of Venice (IT). She is the winner, among others, of Cantica21 promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, and of the 7th edition of the Italian Council promoted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage. Elena Mazzi is currently pursuing a PhD at Villa Arson in Nice (FR).

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