Art In Uncertain Times: Marco Mazzoni Reports On a Silent Vibration from Bergamo, Italy
Over the past few days, we have been checking in with many of our friends in Europe, mainly in Italy, as they are going through incredible hardships as the country is locked down and the death toll and people sick continues to grow. Today we check in with Juxtapoz favorite Marco Mazzoni from the Lombardy region, in a city that is known in Italy as one of the epiceters of the virus spread. One of the topics that continues to be brought up is the idea that has the world grinds to a halt and people seek isolation, the daily life of the artist has often being one of isolation when they are making work. What does the artist see when he notices the world change their schedule, and in many ways, what can we learn from artists about passing time and being creative while alone or secluded.
"My studio is based in Bergamo, and I am in lockdown in a city that is considered to be one of the most tragically affected by the virus. The images of the procession of military vehicles carrying the corpses of people who died because of the virus have been seen all over the world on the news by now.
"Personally. my daily life hasn't changed so much. I'm always in front of a desk (almost all day, sometimes also in the evening). I have to admit that I am in a peculiar situation because I was supposed to move to a new (bigger) studio in a different town a few days after travelling was prohibited, so I had to take a makeshift desk. And I now find myself drawing with my whole life packed next to me. I do think that everything will return to normal soon and that I will be able to move everything to the new studio, but that's how it is for now.
"The things that have changed the most are outside my house. When I go out with the dog, I must always carry with me a signed self-certification and the ID card in addition to a mask and gloves. The latter are not mandatory and which I’d rather not wear, but I understand that the few people I meet on the street feel safer if they see that others are careful taking all possible precautions. Even unnecessary ones for those who are healthy like me and, in theory, out of the high risk category.
"At the entrance of many buildings, children have been hanging drawings in which they say that everything is going to be all right in the end, that everything will pass, and this is somewhat reassuring.
"The few times I get to walk around (only when necessary with the dog or to get groceries), I sometimes have the feeling that some sort of magnetic force is coming from flats and buildings, a force that is meant to burst outside but has to be temporarily held back. You can almost feel all the energy that teenagers keep confined in their rooms, the moment of their life in which everything, mind and body, is at its highest speed and power, and is now reduced to four panoramic walls. And this is felt somehow: it is a silent vibration that spreads throughout the whole city.
"I personally experience a strange paradox. Being a control freak, I see such an event as something that I can neither understand nor manage (there are virologists, doctors, scientists for this) and, oddly enough, I take everything very calmly. Domething that is so much bigger than me is deciding on my daily life and considered that all we are left with here is an indefinite waiting time, I feel de-responsibilized.
"I have just finished my most important project of the last years, a book realised in collaboration with French author Sebastien Perez that will be released in France this year for Metamorphose Collection. I would have loved to celebrate the end of almost 3 years of work with a nice trip perhaps, but for now that’s how it is: there will be time again for travelling." —Marco Mazzoni
Text compiled by Sasha Bogojev