1+1+1 Third edition

Andrea Branzi + Chiaki Maki + Andrea Mastrovito
A project by Elena Quarestani with Marco Sammicheli

1+1+1 Third edition

Andrea Branzi + Chiaki Maki + Andrea Mastrovito
A project by Elena Quarestani with Marco Sammicheli

OPENING HOURS

from April 3 to May 11
Wednesday to Saturday from 15:00 to 19:00 and by appointment

Closing days: 25th April and 1st May.

Guided tours calendar:
Saturday 11 May, at 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm
Info & booking: info@assab-one.org

The third edition of 1+1+1, the exhibition format conceived by Elena Quarestani with Marco Sammicheli, returns to investigating the relationship between art, architecture and design through the work of three practitioners. An architect, a textile designer and an artist were all invited to create installations and site-specific works in the evocative spaces of Assab One.

Press Release

1+1+1 2019
ANDREA BRANZI + CHIAKI MAKI + ANDREA MASTROVITO

A project by Elena Quarestani with Marco Sammicheli

Opening monday, April 1, 2019 – from 6:00 to 10:00
with double performance at 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm

 

The third edition of 1+1+1, the exhibition format conceived by Elena Quarestani with Marco Sammicheli, returns to investigating the relationship between art, architecture and design through the work of three practitioners. An architect, a textile designer and an artist were all invited to create installations and site-specific works in the evocative spaces of Assab One.

Andrea Branzi, architect, protagonist of the Radical movement and of the New Italian design, was recently celebrated at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm with the prestigious Rolf Schock award in the Visual Arts 2018 for his long and meaningful involvement in the debate about cities, architecture and design. As a contemporary humanist, in this exhibition Branzi reflects on an arcane and contemporary art, more precisely Latin art, paying tribute to a Pompeii that has remained “intact” in its most intimate and poetic dimension, the domestic one. The title of his exhibition is La Metropoli Latina. He lives in Milan.

Chiaki Maki, textile designer, trained at universities in both Japan and the United States, after which she traveled to many countries around the world in search of the roots of weaving. In her workshop on the slopes of the Himalayas, conceived together with Bijoy Jain (founder of Studio Mumbai), every square centimeter has been touched by the hand of man. There, through strictly natural processes, she makes precious yarns that she then composes, creating pictorial textiles. Her work is characterised by natural pigments, as well as the reaction of colours to light and matter. The combination of her artistic vein with traditional craftsmanship and the resources of nature inspired the exhibition’s title The Alchemy of Weaving. She lives and works in both Tokyo and Dehradun. This is her first exhibition in Italy.

Andrea Mastrovito, artist, expresses himself with equal amounts of creative energy using a variety of means, from drawing, to installation, to video. For this exhibition, Mastrovito pays homage with a monumental work to the production of the well-known Milan-based company – GEA – which had its headquarters in the spaces of Assab One. It is a kind of loving restoration/mending of the floor of the former factory, rebuilt today with a camouflage fabric of over thousands of puzzle pieces made from green book covers, collected thanks to the participation of friends and residents of the neighborhood. The title of his exhibition is BABEL. He lives and works between New York and Bergamo. This is his third exhibition at Assab One.

The three exhibitions will be open from April 1 to May 5 and will be accompanied by a calendar of events, special opening hours and guided tours.

 

Thanks to:

the Friedman Benda gallery for the support of Andrea Branzi’s La Metropoli Latina, the Mondadori Foundation, Touring Club Milano and all those who participated in the production of the work of Andrea Mastrovito with the collection of books with a green cover.

Anna Aiolfi, Filippo Cristini, Noemi Ferrari, Luciano Finazzi, Vincenzo Furfaro, Mafalda Galessi, Giuseppe Laverde, Anastasia Shalasheva, for having assisted Andrea Mastrovito in the installation of the work.

Biographies

Andrea Branzi

Andrea Branzi, architect and designer, was born in Florence, where he graduated from university; he has lived and worked in Milan since 1974. He deals with industrial and experimental design, architecture, urban planning, teaching and cultural promotion. He is the author of many books on history and design theory, published in several countries; in the last few years, important monographs on his work have been published. Until graduating in 1966, he was part of the avant-garde movement of “Radical Architecture”. In 1982, he co-founded and directed Domus Academy, the first post-graduate design school in Italy. As a Full Professor, he has been President of the Course of Studies in Interior Design at the Faculty of Design of the Milan Polytechnic. He has won three Compasso d’Oro awards, one of which for his career. In 2008, he received the Laurea Honoris Causa in Design from the Sapienza University of Rome and in the same year he was appointed Honorary Member of the Royal Design for Industry in London. In 2017, the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris dedicated a permanent room to its work. In 2018, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm awarded him the Rolf Schock Prize for the Visual Arts.

 

Chiaki Maki

Chiaki Maki, textile designer, lives and works in both India and Japan. After graduating from the Musashino Art University, she continued her studies at the Rhode Island School of Design. From there, she began her research in several countries where the practice of weaving is part of the local population’s daily life.

After years spent in India producing original hand-woven fabrics, Chiaki, together with Bijoy Jain, founder of Studio Mumbai, created the Ganga Maki textile studio, an extraordinary laboratory high in the foothills of the Himalayas. In this special place, where every built square centimeter was touched by the hand of a man or a woman, she extended her practice to the entire production cycle, allowing her creative streak to flourish. Here, before arriving at the loom, every phase, from the cultivation of fibers and natural pigments to the production of yarns, is carried out with natural procedures, following the rhythm of the seasons, to create colours, yarns and compositions of exceptional uniqueness.

 

Andrea Mastrovito

Born in Bergamo in 1978, Mastrovito has lived in New York for years. In 2007 he won the New York Prize, awarded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2012 the Moroso Prize and in 2016 the Ermanno Casoli Prize. His work has been exhibited in major national and international museums, from MAXXI in Rome to the Museo Novecento in Florence, from MART in Rovereto to the Museo Pecci in Prato, from BPS 22 in Charleroi to the Manchester Art Gallery, from MUDAC in Lausanne to the Laznia Center in Gdansk, from the Kunsthalle Osnabruck to the Belvedere 21 in Vienna, from the Museo del Novecento in Milan to the Gamec in Bergamo, to the Queens Museum, to the Magazzino Italian Art and to the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

About Weaving

The presence of a “textile creator,” as she calls herself, in this third iteration of “1+1+1” is making me discover – with hindsight – the hidden meaning of this initiative, created to investigate and reveal the connections between three different disciplines.

Thinking about the act of weaving and the meaning it can assume, I realize that the phenomenon stimulates me even more than at the outset. Since I first invited three friends and professionals to meet and to make their works meet each other in these spaces, three years ago, there has been an unstoppable interweaving of relationships between people and projects, and a surprising process of cause and effect has been set in motion at the same time.

Back then, I had proposed the title Come Together (from a song by the Beatles), which was rejected out of hand and imperatively replaced with I+I+I by George Sowden, who also designed the logo. Three episodes later, in that + sign I can see the fragment of a web, the horizontal weft, the vertical warp. The promise of a continuing, amusing, intriguing, incessant weave of relationships between people and things. Each edition has been the result of seemingly random encounters, or ones that arise from those few degrees of separation that make it possible to glimpse connections, because it is really true that we are always intertwined with others. So apparently by chance, works that were not imagined by their authors to be part of a dialogue with others magically find themselves contributing – as happened in the last two versions – to outline a shared discourse that reveals itself, perhaps, in a photograph, or in the gaze of an inspired visitor. And it happens that, in retrospect, with that which remains unused of the three installations, we can compose another exhibition, autonomous, where the works of each are reflected in those of the other.

This time I see a narrative weave between the work of Chiaki Maki and that of Andrea Mastrovito. To make a textile work, Chiaki starts from a great distance – from the sowing of the indigo she uses to dye her threads, and the raising of silkworms, far in advance of the composition of the various colors on the loom. Likewise, to “mend” the floor of Assab One Mastrovito began by gathering thousands of books before beginning the patient task of reassembling tiny tiles taken from their covers into a puzzle of monumental proportions. I see the same patience, the same challenging of limits, the same taste for risk, the same vaguely hypnotic process in the making of the final result. In the work of Andrea Branzi, I see the never interrupted thread of history, in the present representation of a past in which everyday gestures and objects are recognizable and known – the home, nature, the hand of man, then as now.

I am happy and very grateful that these three authors, who share an extraordinary energy, have accepted this invitation to weave their stories together at Assab One.

(Elena Quarestani)

1+1+1 2019, a side note

For the third consecutive year Assab One becomes a theatre of memory. It is a place in which art, architecture and design fuse into one single expression of contemporary society that is not intimidated by the past but embraces it as a way of addressing the present. Assab One is a visual landscape and the nineteenth century factory, the publishing house, the industrial interiors and the system of cultural relationships at the heart of the art centre are the setting for this exhibition’s narrative providing unique conditions, some more dormant than others, for the three artists that have been invited to create site specific installations this year.

Once again there are three generations, three artists, three stories, three interpretations that although different from one another are all enveloped by the same energy of this place that tirelessly strives to offer infrastructure, an exhibition space, a place to confront different views and freely express new ideas. None of the works indulge in commemorating the history of the building they are in, yet the painted Latin scenes by Andrea Branzi conjure up a deeply personal and almost mythical domestic life where the city is made up of the interiors of private homes. A Milanese Pompeii where the architecture has crumbled away leaving just the survivors – portraits of poets and writers, legends and gods. The horizontal tower of Babel by Andrea Mastrovito is a work of maniacal craftsmanship that transforms the simple gesture of a community into an almost votive action – the creation of a ground level sculpture to be trampled underfoot as if it were a walk of atonement to arrive at some religious sanctuary. Chiaki Maki takes part in the creative ritual of hand weaving. Shapes and colours are mere instruments in this form of abstract writing in which the weave becomes a place inhabited by concepts and the meticulous manual process that characterizes each of her textile compositions.

These are three individual journeys on three different but parallel paths all brought together by the human curiosity that characterizes the work of Assab One, avid collector of stories.

(Marco Sammicheli)

  • Andrea Branzi, Wall 1, 2014
  • Andrea Branzi, Wall 2, 2014. Friedman-Benda collection.
  • Andrea Branzi, Wall 2, 2014
  • La Metropoli Latina - Andrea Branzi ©Giovanni Hänninen
  • La Metropoli Latina - Andrea Branzi ©Giovanni Hänninen
  • La Metropoli Latina - Andrea Branzi
  • La Metropoli Latina - Andrea Branzi
  • La Metropoli Latina - Andrea Branzi
  • La Metropoli Latina - Andrea Branzi
  • La Metropoli Latina - Andrea Branzi
  • The Alchemy of weaving - Chiaki Maki ©Giovanni Hänninen
  • The Alchemy of weaving - Chiaki Maki ©Giovanni Hänninen
  • The Alchemy of Weaving - Chiaki Maki
  • Andrea Mastrovito - Babel ©Giovanni Hänninen
  • Andrea Mastrovito - Babel ©Giovanni Hänninen
  • Andrea Mastrovito - Babel ©Giovanni Hänninen
  • Babel - Andrea Mastrovito
  • Babel - Andrea Mastrovito
  • Babel - Andrea Mastrovito
  • Babel - Andrea Mastrovito
  • Babel - Andrea Mastrovito

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