Interview #66

Martina Bassi

* The following text is an excerpt from an interview made in 2016. The original version is published in PANORAMA (DIORAMA editions).

Martina Bassi (Imola, 1988) studied at Università degli Studi di Milano (Milan). Her work has been exhibited at Museo MAGA (Gallarate);  Istituto Svizzero, O’, Room Galleria and The Art Markets (Milan); Teatro Valdoca (Reggio Emilia); Wilson Project Space (Sassari); Spazio Barriera (Turin).

What is your research about and how it is developed?

My research talks about the construction of a world. From the microscopic of the matter to the small spaces, to landscapes, to the meeting with other people sight. Every surface hides always some sort of illusion. Nothing remains in itself and every element always leads to another one. A question about seeing, that leads to the dynamic and changeable.

Your works are mainly based on the visual perception, so in which way the observer psychology influence the experience of the piece?

I’m interested in the models used by the mind to create knowledge. Overturn that models, simulating them, subverting them, destroying and recomposing them is something that gives to the viewer the chance of find himself in his uniqueness of thought. For everything else is a subtle and ironic movement, that in the moment it gives itself, it’s hiding. It escapes. The real influence arrives after the viewing of the artwork. If the eyes of the one who was watching start to see differently during everyday life, the real experience will be achieved.

You’ve just started a new academic course in neuroscience, how do you think it will help your research?

In order to understand the perception engine. I can’t know it right now, we will see it.

During your studio visit a priest came to visit us, to bless the house. Do you wanna talk about your project of creating an altar, and how do you live spirituality?

Spirituality exists. And I don’t know what else to say. The altar is part of a big project I’m thinking about for a while. It is an hidden praise that is in everything. The possibility of going beyond it. it’s the continuum of the path.

You produced a work shooting T.A.M. floor, could you tell us two words about this partnership?

The very moment I saw the space I desired to see it overturned as a book page. And that’s what I’ve done. After that I realised that it is a bookshop and inside there are plenty of books. And in this way a relationship was born.

How Milan influenced you?

Milan is a city you need to walk through. I don’t know if it’s because I go often to the swimming pool that it seems to me a liquid city, or if it really is like that. When I get out of the swimming pool and I walk it seems to me that I’m actually swimming. On sunday I take a break. I go to the church, I do my laundry, I watch my cat, I read. I enjoy boredom.

Talking about network, is there some artist you enjoy collaborating with?

I feel very comfortable with Ada, my neighbour. 82 years old and 4 legs. She can’t reach almost anything without some effort, but she can go everywhere with her mind. Her shadow is called Lidia and her positivity is well represented by the phrase: “Give Ada, give”. There is Gabriella, she’s about 70. A joyful power and sense of humour. She’s the solo of the church choir and when she sings the Hail Mary a thrill is guaranteed. And even her meatballs are not so bad. There are also Giulio Frigo, Luca de Leva, Alcide Pierantozzi, and others rigorously at Picchio’s. Excellent companions of thoughts. And finally Lisa Dalfino, delicate creature.

How did you discover the area where your studio is located? How the neighbourhood is influencing your daily routine?

I was using some studios here nearby. Not long time ago I realised it is the only neighbourhood of Milan that has a big fountain in its square. The truth is, I don’t hang out in the neighbourhood, I’m always moving through the city. By foot, the most. The time I spend in the neighbourhood is by the window. I watch the student flood going backward and forward between the station and the Politecnico or the Alps, in the distance, if the sky allows it. Flavio, my artisan, is an expert alpinist and he told me that the ones I see are the Grigne mountain group. Since that day every time they appear on the horizon it seems to me I can hear them sneering…how funny they are.