Sabrina Mezzaqui

My work is based on simple and repetitive practices

By La Galleria Nazionale

I quaderni di Simone Weil (2010-2016) by Sabrina MezzaquiLa Galleria Nazionale

In this act of extreme, conscious humility, Simone Weil affirms the meta-personal value of the thoughts collected in her notebooks as an intimately lived experience, thus allowing them to become, through a renewed process of writing, the personal expression for anyone who is able to turn to the truth with equal love.

(Giancarlo Gaeta, preface to Simone Weil, Quaderni)

Practice is a word with its own concreteness, almost material. It indicates the possibility of accomplishment. It deals with acting, doing. Putting it into practice requires consistency and feeds on custom. My work is based on simple and repetitive practices such as folding, cutting, hatching, drilling, threading, copying, tracing… attention exercises that I share also with other people. The practice promotes knowledge, develops skills, leads to meditative silence.

Practice transforms thought into experience. I read that the practice of copying sacred texts grants great spiritual merits. Work mysteriously feeds itself on emptiness, an area to be practiced.

Sabrina Mezzaqui

I quaderni di Simone Weil (2010-2016) by Sabrina MezzaquiLa Galleria Nazionale

Sabrina Mezzaqui
(Bologna, 1964)

The creating time is for Sabrina Mezzaqui a space of solitude that accompanies the inventing act, and a space for sharing gestures to be done together, where the repetitive, domestic and silent actions that characterize her research – cutting, folding pages of notebooks and books, embroidering, knitting, threading beads – define the sense of the necessary encounter with the other.

A walk together, “which puts life and the meaning of life in circulation.” The dimension of authorship multiplies “in many people – as the artist observes – both visible (writers, poets...) and invisible (all the people I collaborate with in the creation of the works)".

I quaderni di Simone Weil (2010-2016) by Sabrina MezzaquiLa Galleria Nazionale

In this space of encounter and transformation, repetition, as a discipline and ritual, takes on the value of authenticity, understood as the possibility of knowledge, meditation and freedom, starting from a deep root, from a memory of doing that traces a matrilineal genealogy.

I quaderni di Simone Weil (2010-2016) by Sabrina MezzaquiLa Galleria Nazionale

Closely connected to the dimension of the relationship is the word which, in the various declinations of writing, narration, book, is at the center of Mezzaqui’s artistic practice, with interventions that unfold on the page or involve the space, through forms and images whose symbols are connected to the poetic, literary, philosophical content from which creation begins.

Among the processes that the artist puts in place around the word is copying, understood as a slow and patient spiritual exercise, through which an incursion into the profound essence of the authors who make up her affective geography is determined.

Copying is an operation that allows you to fully identify with the processes and times of creation. It materializes the duration and expand the thought.

Between 2010 and 2016 Mezzaqui copied by hand the Quaderni by Simone Weil, the French philosopher, mystic and writer of Jewish origin. She worked on the Italian edition of the writings published in four volumes by Adelphi, which is separated into eighteen notebooks, each bound with a dust jacket made of hand-made wool.

I quaderni di Simone Weil (2010-2016) by Sabrina MezzaquiLa Galleria Nazionale

The notebook refers to the original diary dimension of the writings that Simone Weil wrote down between 1941 and 1942, in the darkest moment of the war, between Marseille, the United States and London, where she died in 1943.

That period witnessed the creation of her “disordered mass of fragments,” in which all her philosophical, political and social reflections, and keywords of her thought converge: love, strength, necessity, balance, good, desire, misfortune, beauty, limit, sacrifice, emptiness.

Lara Conte

Credits: Story

Sabrina Mezzaqui and Lara Conte
The text quotes: A. Zamboni, "Amicizia e amicizia politica nel pensiero femminile", in Segni e comprensione, no. 90 (2016), p. 8.
S. Mezzaqui, conversation with E. Longari, 2011,
G. Gaeta, Introduction, S. Weil, Quaderni (Milan: Adelphi, 1982).

Credits: All media
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