Creating figures, forms, and props from a minimalist toolbox of wood, wax, paint, and found objects, Ana Mazzei doesn't create works so much as she makes stages out of them.
The results are always activations of body and space through the distillation of their architectures, whether scaffolding or bones.
Mazzei's triangulation between body, prop, and set creates a potent tension that fuses fragments into cohesive yet untethered tableaux, as demonstrated by the artist's recent show Drama O'Rama at Secs Pompeia Sāo Paulo (16 October 2019–2 February 2020), where installations acted like prompts to ignite a field of imaginations.
The artist's latest show at Green Art Gallery in Dubai, Sleepwalk (15 November 2021–31 January 2022), is no different, with works (all 2021) conjuring a nocturnal realm of waking dreams through which viewers are invited to walk.
A thin black curtain stitched with small golden pieces reminiscent of votive offerings cuts across the room at the entrance, creating the sense of a private ecclesiastical or monastic corridor preceding an inner sanctum.
Each freestanding sculpture seems to embody the role of character and spectator at once. Standing in the space between the two stages, it can feel as if you've been caught in the middle of a stand-off or have woken up on a stage.
But this impression too, is fleeting, given the sense of enclosure that the artist extends through 'Mind Maps', a series of four works lining the wall between both stages, two on each side, completing a theatrical set-up in the round.