Article from the 2011-10-07, by Markus Abraham
The Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin is glad to present “The Intellectual Work”, an exposition of the master of Italian Design by Enzo Mari (born 1932 in Navora, Italy).
The intellectual work displays a series of paperweights that were collected by Mari over decades. They are objects trouvés (industrial products, multiples, metal joints, out-sorted glass pieces, door-handles, wooden and metallic test material, fossils…), as well as by Mari himself produced sculptural ready-mades. Each one has its own weight, his own history and place in Mari’s interior landscape and served him to keep his thousand papers full of sketches and ideas that pile in his atelier in one place.
However, this is not the exposition of a collection, or the simple re-construction of an atelier surrounding. The installation is – in Mari’s own words – more than an “allegory” to the essence of his practice and the practice of each one of his “spiritual works”.
Along his life as artist, designer, teacher and theoretic – Mari researched the role of the intellectual, the cooperation of thinking and doing, head-using and working, words and things. In the focus of his work was always the habit to say “no”, a whole lot of “noes” (to himself in first instance, because he has always been unsatisfied about the results of the search after function and beauty but also to the necessary necessities of the market). Through the collection of errors and noes and to keep them with papers, Mari places on one side everything that isn’t good enough for him, every day.
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