Spazienne – The infinite search of possibilities

Spazienne is an artistic project with five emerging Italian artists.

Spazienne represents boundless methodologies and possibilities. Spouted by five emerging artists Stefano Comensoli, Nicolò Colciago, Federica Clerici, Alberto Bettinetti and Giulia Fumagalli, they share common thoughts and aspirations through the search of self-production. The way of working that combines individuality with collectiveness is a progressive concept that allows the artists to experiment endlessly. They run in parallel lines that occasionally deviate and intertwine with each other, then go back to their own tracks. But they always work hand in hand. They are individual artists, yet they can be identified as a whole, as one. 

Stefano Comensoli_Nicolò Colciago – Lì dove nascono le forme del vento (installation view), 2020 – Otto Zoo (Milano) ph. Luca Vianello, courtesy Otto Zoo

 

To begin with, how and when did this artistic project begin? And how did you come up with the name Spazienne?

Spazienne was officially born on 22 May 2014 on the occasion of the first +N1 exhibition in what would later become our studio. We are five artists (Stefano Comensoli, Nicolò Colciago, Federica Clerici, Alberto Bettinetti and Giulia Fumagalli). We met in NABA coming from different years and experiences, but with common ideas and objectives. What sparked the project was the need to create a “container” that enables us to reflect and allow us to experiment freely and independently. Spazienne is based on principles of initiative and self-production, proposing a work that develops the search for other possibilities in the field of artistic thought. Research themes and shared methodologies determine a way of working that combines individual practice with collaborations and collective works. The theoretical and practical comparison flows into a work procedure that comes to understand the installation aspect, as well as graphic and editorial communication and sometimes the self-curatorial aspect. 

Giulia Fumagalli, +N9/3 chissà come si sente la luna (installation view), 2019 – Megazzino, Garbagnate Milanese (MI) courtesy spazienne

 

In December 2018, Megazzino is officially inaugurated as an adjoining space where continuous experimental researches and activities are conducted. Would you tell us a bit about this place? And how did the idea of starting Megazzino come about?

Megazzino is an unexpected expansion, an extra area of ​​our studio, an opportunity that we have decided to seize and take as a commitment.
We have always called our studio the warehouse (magazzino in Italian). And for this, it has taken the name of Megazzino in this extended form.
The idea of ​​this new initiative was born primarily from our need: a space where you can test yourself, where you can operate freely, a space of sharing and comparison animated by the desire to create and establish a dialogue that can potentially start a cultural debate.
The entrance of Megazzino is unusual. The exhibition space is in fact, at the same time adjoined and separated from our studio. It can be accessed by walking up three small steps and passing through the threshold of two large corner gates that open into a “L” shaped form that is about 100 square meters. It is like going through backstage, like the work area before reaching the stage of a theatre: the exhibition space.
Megazzino is an extended and shared place for research and experimentation.
It does not want to be a curatorial operation, but a possibility of sharing, a place where you can host other realities, a place that wants to open up to a wider vision of contemporary thought by welcoming all its multidisciplinarity.
The Megazzino project was officially activated in December 2018 with + N9. It was an exhibition divided into three parts, where we personally dealt with the exhibition space by studying it both as a reality and as a common starting point that could host our three different visions.

In September 2019, we inaugurated the exhibition T’ho detto piano that came to light from the dialogue between Libri Finti Clandestini and 5X Letterpress with a critical contribution by Federica Boragina – two worlds made of paper and two different ways of experiencing the language of typography and publishing.

With the current  Covid-19 emergency situation, we are unable to continue with the scheduled program. But we are continuing to create dialogues with the artists who we would have hosted in this period while imagining the reopening.

Federica Clerici + Alberto Bettinetti, +N9/1 nella gravità del momento (installation view), 2018 – Megazzino, Garbagnate Milanese (MI) courtesy spazienne

 

Your work engages the trivial nature of industrial materials and combinations of chromatic research into abstract works, vaguely speaking.  Knowing that you use various mediums and techniques such as risoprint, drawing, video, installations and so on to express the idea of art, what do you normally you look for in your content and approach? 

There are several common points in our research in which we share different nuances of the same language and the idea of ​​interdisciplinarity. Not to mention, esteem and mutual support.
Each of us draws from his/her own past thoughts that are declined in his/her own research flow and the material follows its aspects to give it shape and physicality. We do not set limits, but we seek in every medium the suitable characteristics to convey these energies.
Giulia’s work connects the most intimate and sensitive dimension to the geometric and formal one.
Her language develops through simple shapes, a comforting colour range and the use of materials such as plexiglass, coloured films and wood. Her works relate to space and to the spectator, who is often called upon to intervene in the first person, creating possible distortions of a delicate vision of the world.
Alberto and Federica join the individual path to collaborate on a shared artistic project.
Reflection on language, the investigation of fragile and light states of balance that often confront the utopian, with the impossible is their modus operandi.
Through their work, they want to show other possibilities, the idea that a single object can have infinite facets and that it is up to us to choose our point of interest as a need for self-redefinition of what surrounds us. It is the starting point of a double research which always aims to broaden a horizon.
The basis of Stefano and Nicolò’s visual and poetic vocabulary is the observation and exploration. By their constant workout in crossing landscape, they often seek to repositioning one’s glance in favour of a sensitive imagination. An object is taken directly from its context, worked and returned with a narrative that changes its perspective, opening up new possibilities of visions.
The central element of our collective work is the concept of display, right from the beginning. It was in fact necessary to think about display methods that could create an interconnection between the works presented.

Rethinking the display as a multiple exposure method meant that we could bring our differences together in a choral complex that expanded the communicative potential of the works in respect of their singularities.

Since 2018, the purchase of a Risograph machine has granted us greater independence and experimentation with the print media. In the same year, with the + n8 exhibition, we inaugurated an editorial section of the project dedicated to the production of posters, books, fanzines and prints.

Spazienne magazzino (studio view) courtesy spazienne

 

What are you working on at the moment?

Right now we are all working at home. We are taking advantage of these days to complete some things that have remained unsolved. In fact, these days we are updating the website and organizing the archives of images and ideas that have not yet been realized.
Each of us is working on our own way and trying to carry out our research as much as we can.
We still keep in tough with each other, with friends and people with whom we have a connection and other with whom we will collaborate for the making of projects within Megazzino.
It is a precious moment to reflect, visualize ideas and continue to train on our own practice, transforming the limits imposed into possibilities. The present time and the days to come will serve to metabolize this unexpected flow of events that will lead us towards a better and cleared visions and directions that are currently not foreseeable.

Stefano Comensoli_Nicolò Colciago – Lì dove nascono le forme del vento (installation view), 2020 – Otto Zoo (Milano) ph. Luca Vianello, courtesy Otto Zoo

 

What does the word REVOLUTION mean to you?

We have decided to answer this question freely and openly, trying to highlight everyone’s point of views.
Alberto + Federica: We live in a serious age. This seriousness has certainly led us to accustoming to this instability, and at the same time obtaining an intrinsic resistance to it. We have lived in hectic times where the perception of reality has taken over reality itself. We have all lined up in a world that consumes us by consuming each other. We need to revolutionize our way of thinking starting from small things. Pursuing a change that can last means introducing the concept of revolution into one’s thinking and work.
Revolution is for us a possibility of change. We firmly believe in the strength of small revolutions, in the possibility of a wider change starting from the small one, by improving our gestures.
Giulia Fumagalli: From the Latin revolution -onis means upheaval, returning. It therefore indicates a cyclic and repetitive rotation, just like the revolutionary motion of the Earth around the Sun. A mode of movement intent on returning and starting from the same point.
Beyond its definition, the term, for me, instead identifies a change and the attempt to move one’s point of observation and initiative so as to be able to expand its possibilities in other visions.

Stefano Comensoli_Nicolò Colciago: The word Revolution is very important, it brings with it a multiplicity of meanings that have added up in history, identifying it with a creative and destructive force at the same time. It gives off a dense feeling that expresses charge, movement and action. These are the facets that are detached from the meanings of opposition, cancellation and contrast.
For us, in the present, rather than revolution we should speak of evolution, a concept that aims at a cultural deployment by expanding the modes of action and the possibilities of vision.
The revolution is to seek the evolution of a system.
An evolution that can start from the individual, from small things; the interaction of the individual with the outside fuelled by a feeling of inner freedom.
Exist not only for oneself, but also for others.
Starting from a need, an action of change in harmony and not with presumption of superiority, in its purity, sincerity and beauty full of values.
From a necessity, trying to satisfy it by putting it into play in the first person: if I miss it, it could be missed by others.

Evolve as a person, evolve as an artist, bringing your contribution with actions, thoughts and spirits within the debate to seek a step forward.

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