Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Christina Mackie

How to Begin

Artists' Research Laboratory (XXIV CSAV)
2–25 July 2018

"Talking about being and becoming and the gapin-between. The process of reducing possibilities until, starting with a word or thought or action, one can begin to bridge the gap between intention and actualization. The beginning is different to everything that comes after. It's the initial condition and a step into the unknown. By your action, you set the initial condition. The first step forms the condition for the outcome. Before a nail is hammered in it needs to be positioned correctly. Through repetition or expansion or refinement things open up again and the work builds up around a core idea."
(Christina Mackie)

The seminar considered "how do we begin?" through a number of related questions: How do we negotiate individuality and exchange in the brief context of a seminar and within the larger one of an artistic practice? What's at stake in a beginning if we refuse to relegate things to a state of passive inactivity and instead choose to recognize agency to them and to all non-human processes? How can we discuss the relationship between the first glimpse of an engagement, which must unavoidably come from outside us, and our future entanglement with it? How do we negotiate the tension between wanting to make something and not wanting to be in it?

These questions provided the starting point for seminars and studio work. They were also addressed through "Aperto", a one day exhibition intended as a public moment of collective reflection on the processes, researches and discussions in which the individual participants will have engaged while exploring the themes of How do We Begin?

The same questions were addressed through a publication created in collaboration with all the participants during the XXIV Laboratory and released soon after its closing.

Annie Ratti
Associate Directors
Lorenzo Benedetti
Gregorio Magnani
Anna Castelli

Invited artist

Christina Mackie (b. 1956, Oxford, UK) lives and works in London. Mackie’s work is born from an interest in materials and processes, she is best known for her multi-layered sculptural installations. She assembles different materials in order to achieve a temporary synthesis through what appears as a continuing process. Mackie’s research ranges from human and non-human power structures, to biology and gene theory, to chemistry and formalism.

Mackie’s work has been exhibited in relevant institutions and galleries worldwide, among which: Tate Britain, London (2015); Praxes, Berlin (2015); The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2014); Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2012), and Chisenhale Gallery, London (2012).

Participant artists

Yusef Audeh
Joe Brown
Paula Buskevica
Vincent Ceraudo
Omar A. Chowdhury
Inga Danysz
Lisa Trogen Devgun
Gustavo Gomez Brechtel
Nicolas Gullotta
Zishi Han
Petra Hjartardottir
Mourad Kouri
Vibeke Mascini
Anna Meschiari
Rebecca Moccia
Fathia Mohidin
Simon S. Bellea
Andrea Zucchini


Christina Mackie

People Powder

20 July–9 September 2018

Laboratorio Aperto

19 July 2018


Christina Mackie

The Yellows

19 July 2018


How to Begin

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