Detail of Espetáculo [Spectacle], 2016
In her works, Ana Mazzei draws on literature and theatre to bring instances of observation and acting into her installations, sculptures, drawings, photographs and performances. By making use of the imaginary of epic or mythological narratives, her installations suggest a performance where it is not clear who is observing and who is being observed. Mazzei’s objects and sculptures are understood in relation to the body and make us reflect on how our notion of orientation, positioning and organization impact on the way we relate to space. The artist uses images that evoke the history of painting, many of which are Biblical metaphors but also political symbolisms and scientific and philosophical speculations about the universe. For instance, when examining the expression of ecstasy – so widely present in Western art history – she correlates the sacred gesture with early psychiatry studies, where the same expression was linked to hysteria cases. With Espetáculo [Spectacle] (2016), the artist proposes a new territory for action in which objects are placed in the ambiguous position of being the main characters of a theatre play with no action, or the audience of an act that takes place in the body of the visitor. Her forms relate to astrological studies or devices for a science unlike the one we know.