A dialogue between Productive by Giorgio Andreotta Calò and A Fragmented World by Elena Mazzi and Sara Tirelli
curated by Cristiana Perrella
The exhibition LITHOSPHERE, from 24 October 2020 to 25 April 2021 at the Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato, consists of a video and a large environmental installation: A Fragmented World (2016) by Elena Mazzi and Sara Tirelli, and Productive (2018-2019) by Giorgio Andreotta Calò.
The exhibition – curated by Cristiana Perrella, Director of the Centro Pecci – is part of a line of research that tends to reinterpret and question the works in the permanent collection through dialogue and comparison with those from other collections.
A Fragmented World and Productive both originate from the suggestion of a journey to the centre of the Earth, and from the desire to represent the forces and materials that have shaped our planet over the course of geological eras.
Giorgio Andreotta Calò acquired, reordered and catalogued around 2000 linear metres of coring from the Sulcis Iglesiente region (southwestern Sardinia), part of the Carbosulcis survey archive. The stratigraphic horizon corresponding to the production level, between -350 and -450 metres below sea level, was then reassembled on the floor: the various layers of rock visible in these cores reveal millennia of natural history and recount their story through a succession of materials such as siltstone, sandstone, micro-conglomerates, carbonaceous layers, beige limestone and lumachella, a stone containing fossilized snails. Highly fragile yet with a strong evocative presence, the long cylinders of Productive form a landscape that follows the stratigraphic succession, taking us back in time.
The work, shown in Milan in 2019 as part of the solo exhibition CittàdiMilano at the HangarBicocca of Fondazione Pirelli, which co-produced it, became part of the Centro Pecci's collection in 2019 thanks to a donation by the artist, who wanted to divide it among the member museums of AMACI - Associazione dei Musei d’Arte Contemporanea Italiani (Association of Italian Contemporary Art Museums).
In this exhibition, for the first time a significant part has been reassembled which also includes the sections in the collections at MAXXI, GAMeC, MAMbo, FMAV, MADRE and from the artist’s archive.
A Fragmented World, a video by Elena Mazzi and Sara Tirelli also looks at the very slow time of the Earth, which is only apparently immobile and immutable, and of catastrophic events – eruptions, earthquakes – which represent an element of rupture and acceleration. Inspired by the Fracture Theory of the physicist Bruno Giorgini – which analyses the variables that lead to a crisis, understood both as a geo-physical and a socio-political phenomenon – the work refers to a condition of chaos, unpredictability and transformation, using images of Etna, some of which already existed having been produced for scientific purposes, and others shot for this work by the artists, with live sounds and sampling by the musician Giuseppe Cordaro.
Giorgio Andreotta Calò (Venice, 1979), lives between Amsterdam and Venice.
He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice (1999-2005) and continued his studies at the KunstHochSchule in Berlin (2003-2004). From 2001 and 2003, and again in 2007, he was assistant to Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. He was artist in residence at Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (2009-2011).
His main solo exhibitions include: Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2019); Oude Kerk, Amsterdam (2018); Depart Foundation, Los Angeles (2016); Institut Culturel Italien, Paris (2014); SMART Project Space, Amsterdam (2012); and Galleria Civica, Trento, Italy (2009). His work was displayed at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), curated by Cecilia Alemani, and at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), curated by Bice Curiger.
His most recent collective exhibitions include: MAXXI, Rome, (2020); Istituto Italiano di Cultura, New York (2019); Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2017); 16a Quadriennale d'Arte, Rome (2016); High Line, New York (2016); and Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2014). He won the New York Prize (2014), promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Italian Prize for Contemporary Art (2012), promoted by the MAXXI Museum in Rome.
His works include sculpture, large-scale environmental installations and spatial works that transform architecture or entire landscapes and are often intended for inclusion in a rich system of references and connections, also through the use of natural elements full of symbolic meanings – such as water, light and fire.
His work is rooted in some conceptual and procedural practices typical of artists of the Sixties and Seventies which then open up to new evolutions. The result is a long process of research into materials – traditional ones such as bronze and wood, and other more unusual ones on processing techniques and their origin. His interest in organic materials brings his work closer to current international debates on the use and dispersion of raw materials and on socio-ecological changes.
Elena Mazzi (Reggio Emilia, 1984), lives and works between Venice and Turin.
She studied History of Art at the University of Siena. In 2011 she graduated in Visual Arts from IUAV in Venice. She spent some time studying abroad at the Royal Academy of Art (Konsthogskolan) in Stockholm.
Her poetry concerns the relationship between humans and the environment in which they live and how they decide to operate within it, bringing about change. Mainly following an anthropological approach, this analysis investigates and documents both a personal and a collective identity relating to a specific territory, and it gives rise to different forms of exchange and transformation.
Her works have been exhibited at solo and collective exhibitions, including: Whitechapel Gallery in London, GAMeC in Bergamo, MAMbo in Bologna, AlbumArte in Rome, Sonje Art Center in Seoul, Palazzo Fortuny in Venice, Fondazione Golinelli in Bologna, Centro Pecci per l’arte contemporanea in Prato, 16th Quadriennale of Rome, GAM in Turin, 14th Biennale of Istanbul, 17th BJCEM Biennale del Mediterraneo, Fittja Pavilion at the 14th Architecture Biennale in Venice, COP17 in Durban, Istituto Italiano di Cultura in New York, Brussels and Stockholm, XIV BBCC Expo in Venice, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa.
She has participated in various residence programmes, including ZK/U in Berlin, HIAP in Helsinki, Guilmi Art project in Abruzzo, Via Farini in Milan, Fundacion Botin in Spain, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice, Future Farmers A.I.R. in San Francisco, Spinola Banna per l’arte, Botkyrka AIR in Stockholm.
She has also been awarded, among others, the XVII Ermanno Casoli Prize, the STEP Beyond Prize, the OnBoard Prize, the Thalie Art Foundation Prize, the VISIO Young Talent Acquisition prize, the Eneganart prize, the Illy scholarship for Unidee, as well as prizes by Fondazione Pistoletto, nctm e l’arte, m-cult media and technology program, a special mention for Art Heritage and human rights, the Antworks award, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo prize, the Lerici Foundation prize, and Movin’up.
Sara Tirelli (Gorizia, 1979), lives and works in Venice.
Sara Tirelli is a filmmaker and artist.
She obtained her MFA in Visual Arts from the Faculty of Human Sciences at the University of Bologna, Department of Art, Music and Entertainment in 2003, and that same year she obtained a Director's Diploma at the Civic School of Cinema and New Media, Polytechnic University of Milan.
She started her career as a videomaker for New Media Art in the Netherlands at V2_Institute Rotterdam, and in Germany at Transmediale Berlin, before establishing herself in Venice where she was selected as artist in residence at Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in 2010.
Her videos and works have been included in several exhibitions and festivals, including Q16 Quadriennale d’Arte in Rome, Gothenburg Film Festival, DeutscheBank Kunsthalle, Museo Novecento Firenze, 12th International Biennale of Architecture in Venezia, and Rotterdam Film Festival. In 2017 she won the 3rd Prize awarded by Deutsche Bank and the Ufa Award, and that same year she was selected as Artist in Production in Residency @ Borås Konstmuseum, Sweden. Her artistic research explores processes of visual perception and links between technology, culture and media. Her professional work ranges from artistic projects to commercial productions such as music videos, advertising and documentaries.
Mazzi and Tirelli have collaborated since 2015 in the creation of the video installation entitled A fragmented world (2016) and had already worked together between 2013 and 2014 on the video LACUNA. Land of hidden spaces (2014).
Special thanks to Apice for support with the logistics and handling of Productive.
24.10.2020 – 25.04.2021
On cover: Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Produttivo, 2018-2019
Viale della Repubblica, 277, 59100 Prato PO, Italia