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Antechamber, Ana Mazzei

Installation view at Green Art Gallery, Dubai, 2018

Younger artists working with the vocabulary of Minimalism have joyously embraced its purported theatricality and have cultivated a post–Felix Gonzalez-Torres fascination with affect and the mechanics of its production. This often takes the form of a narrativized sentimentality, coupled with corporeal, alchemical, or mythological overtones. The critical literature on Ana Mazzei’s work has foregrounded the totemic quality of her quasi-Minimalist objects and the possibility that their “activation” may serve yet-unknown ends. Yet the Brazilian artist’s work, often featuring recognizable archetypes, is really not so mysterious. Consider, among the pieces in her recent exhibition Antechamber, the suite Us and Them (all works 2018). Here, totemic heads or torso-like shapes mounted on iron sticks did not signal any particular narrative, yet Mazzei’s attunement to material and craft did warrant.


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