Press Release

The PAV Parco Arte Vivente is pleased to present On copper, wax, iron, wisteria and ice: Elena Mazzi —10 years of smellscapes, labs and conversations, Elena Mazzi’s solo exhibition curated by Marco Scotini.

The relationship between geographic areas at risk and the communities that inhabit them inspires the practices of Elena Mazzi (1984) as they deconstruct and challenge the epistemic dichotomies of modernity, encouraging us to consider a new ecological relationship between nature, culture and the world. Mazzi collects cases from fieldwork, workplaces and mobile laboratories, and uses different sets of procedures, interdisciplinary exchanges, indigenous and specialist vocabularies in order to overcome the limitations of the environments within which knowledge produces and is produced. In line with the idea of contrasting “state science” with “nomad science” (Deleuze and Guattari), we can include Elena Mazzi’s research into the latter theoretical model.



International exhibitions

International Archives 1st half of 2022

Elena Mazzi, On cooper, wax, iron, wisteria and ice

Parco Arte Vivente, Turin (Italy)

15.06 - 23.10.2022




In 1973, Holt started to research her ideas for her landmark Sun Tunnels (1973–76), creating Instamatic photo studies testing the possibilities of how vision might be focused through a sculpture located in a landscape uninterrupted by buildings and roadways. In this exhibition, these small-scale images are paired with photographs of Sun Tunnels by the influential photographer Richard Misrach (b. 1949) made fifteen years later, each measuring ten by eight feet. Placed in the context of audio and moving image works observing travel through the North American landscape, Holt’s 1986 series Alaskan Pines and Athabascan/Russian Graveyards, as well as her 1969 Miami Puddles (1969) are likewise exhibited for the first time.

Underpinning this 25-year survey is a call to look deeper and think harder about how humans try to find their place in the world through systems and vision, as well as through the systematic distinctions between “inside” and “outside.” The exhibition launches at the time of the summer solstice when the city of Umeå, located close to the Arctic Circle, has white nights echoing Holt’s consistent tracing of the sun, moon, and stars in relation to our place on the planet.

Nancy Holt / Inside Outside is produced by Bildmuseet in collaboration with Holt/Smithson Foundation, and in partnership with MACBA, Barcelona. Curators: Lisa Le Feuvre and Katarina Pierre. The exhibition is accompanied by a book published in the autumn by Monacelli Press, with texts by Karen Di Franco, Teresa Grandas, Lisa Le Feuvre, James Nisbet, Katarina Pierre, and two texts by Nancy Holt—a previously unpublished self-interview and a reflection on the ecological aspects of her work.

With support from Fort Knox, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation and the Henry Moore Foundation.Mazzi enters the artistic, anthropological and scientific ambits with a “lessor” approach, with a rhizomatic way of proceeding in which, time by time, the circumstances allow the emergence of tool kits, disciplinary linkages and possible interlocutors. The objective is that of finding an unconventional response to ecological urgencies, to neo-liberal extractivism, and to the collapse of bio-diversity, searching for new, imaginative ways for interconnection, intersection and mutual dependency over and above the cognitive monopoly of western knowledge. In its content and methodologies, the strategic horizon of her work is that of raising awareness in the subjects involved about the importance of the eco-system dimension and of the “circulating references” (Bruno Latour) that populate society.

The exhibition’s title identifies this additive process of multiple workshops based on prime materials. In Elena Mazzi’s work, through the combination of the visual arts with solutions and tactics designated by disciplines such as geography, social science and anthropology, artistic practice becomes action within communities.

In effect, we encounter the (broad but specific) community of the scientists met during the creation of Copperalities (2022, generated within the framework of the research project Scientific Visualizations: Impact on Practice, developed at the Libera Università of Bolzano-Bozen); the communities of bees and humans in the project on nomadic bee-keeping En Route to the South (2015, realized in collaboration with Rosario Sorbello), while, with The Upcoming Polar Silk Road (2021), the concept of community expands to include the geo-political dimension. Lastly, the local community is at the heart of the Smellscapes project, created for this exhibition with the aim of valorising the olfactive dimension and the material, botanical and gastronomic culture of the territory by means of the laboratory creation of essences that stand as participatory representations of the neighbourhood.

On July 5, the PAV will be hosting Soils Matter, an interdisciplinary encounter dedicated to the relationship between artistic practices, science, and soil promoted and curated by the research group Scientific Visualizations: Impact on Practice of the Libera Università of Bolzano-Bozen.

Elena Mazzi (Reggio Emilia, 1984) studied at the University of Siena, IUAV in Venice and at the  Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Her works have been on display in both solo and group exhibitions, including: der TANK (Basel), MADRE (Naples), ar/ge kunst (Bolzano), Sodertalje Konsthall (Stockholm), Whitechapel Gallery (London), BOZAR (Brussels), the Museo del Novecento (Florence), GAMeC (Bergamo), MAMbo (Bologna), Sonje Art Center (Seoul), Palazzo Fortuny (Venice), the 16th Rome Quadriennale, the 14th Istanbul Biennale, the 17th BJCEM Mediterranean Biennale, and the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice. She has also been the winner of, amongst others, Cantica21 sponsored by the Italian Foreign Office and the Department of Culture, of the 7th edition of the Italian Council sponsored by the Italian Department of Culture.

The exhibition has been realised with the support of the Compagnia di San Paolo, the Fondazione CRT, the Regione Piemonte, the Città di Torino and the [N.A!] Project.

Nancy Holt, Sun Tunnels, 1973-76. Great Basin Desert, Utah, USA. Collection Dia Art Foundation with support from Holt/Smithson Foundation © Holt/Smithson Foundation and Dia Art Foundation, licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Elena Mazzi, On cooper, wax, iron, wisteria and ice, Parco Arte Vivente, Turin, Italy

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2022. All Rights Reserved

Exhibition 15 June -23 October 2022. Parco Arte Vivente (PAV), Via Giordano Bruno 31 - 10134 Turin (Italy). T +39 011 318 2235.