Erika Lacava: The Studio Visit format conceived for Juliet in the period of lockdown seeks to investigate the methodological aspect of the artist’s work, in particular his relationship with the studio. During that period, how has your way of designing and working together changed? Were you able to reproduce working proximity with technological means or is there something irreducibly material in your creative process that has been irretrievably lost?
vedovamazzei: Lockdown is a constant for an artist: he is always irremediably closed in the studio. Stella and I live in the same building and life and habits have remained quite similar to pre-Covid times. We set up the studio and had enough material to do whatever we wanted.
E.L. How is your work process structured in terms of designing and creating the work?
VM: We work at home or on the territory. The studio is just a place of pleasure, a retirement home. You go there, turn on the lights, turn on the computer, make coffee, drink it. You look around. Go to the toilet. Move something, time passes. Pretend to do something, pretend to learn something. Savor the pleasure you know less and less. Then you realize that between one thing and another you have made 3 works.
E.L. You have been an artistic couple since 1991: what kind of affinity drove you to work together and how has your relationship changed in almost thirty years of career?
VM: As students we had a common studio. As a couple we had a common studio and now that we are separated we continue to have a common studio. I would say that rent and bills are similar to us.
E.L. The great difference that characterizes your works suggests a multiplicity of influences to which you are subjected. If the studio has any influence on the kind of creation, it seems that your works were born in different places. Can you confirm this hypothesis?
VM: As we said above, the study remains a moment of great relax that sometimes becomes very tiring. Relaxing is very hard. And so we often ignore it for practical reasons. We could do without it but then you think that somewhere you have to do something relaxing.
E.L. What relationship do you have with the studio? Do you live it individually or always together?
VM: We are almost always together. It is our favorite bar.
E.L. Finally…. what can be found in the vedovamazzei studio?
VM: Coffee, water, linseed oil and some table … scraps.
Milan-based artists Stella Scala and Simeone Crispino have been working collaboratively as vedovamazzei since 1991. By using a wide range of media including sculpture, painting, installation and photography, vedovamazzei’s humorous and poignant works explore the ways in which desire and affection might couple and uncouple images, objects and texts. Their pieces often give form to literal mis-readings, including the translation of a movie into a sculpture, the creation of a narrative around a flawed object, or the depiction of an impossible romantic whim. Vedovamazzei has recently presented solo exhibitions at “Public Work. vedovamazzei present After Love”, Maxxi, Rome (2020), “Visto da qui-Vedovamazzei. Broken Icons”, Umberto Di Marino Contemporary Art, Naples (2019), “Unexpected Landscapes”, Galleria de Foscherari, Bologna (2018), “Public Work. La città che sale. Vedovamazzei presenta Boccioni”, Cittadella degli Archivi di Milano, Milan, Italy, (2018). Vedovamazzei is in the following Museum Collections: FRAC Fond Régional d’Art Contemporaine, Montpellier, France, MAXXI Rome, GAMEC Bergamo, GAM, Turin, MADRE Naples, Public Art Projects. Art 38 Basel, MAMBO Bologna, ALT Bergamo, MAGA Gallarate.
For all the images: courtesy vedovamazzei
Erika Lacava, degree in Aesthetic Philosophy at the State University in Milan with a specialization in Visual cultures and curatorial practices at the Brera Academy. From 2014 to 2017 with the experience of Zoia – Contemporary Art Gallery she comes into direct contact with the dynamics of scouting and the art market. Independent curator, collaborator for printed and online art magazines, in 2019 she founded the communication and services start-up for art M2F Communication.