Corrispondenze. User manual_Paola Boscaini, Cristina Materassi

22.02 – 11.03.2023


A seed, a map, a piece of fabric, a mailbox.

The meaning of “to Inhabit” is no easy feat.

It comes from the Latin “habeo”, to have, but, borrowed in its iterative sense, it implies a temporal expansion, “to have in a continuous way”. It could be translated as “to maintain”. Maintaining a place, a contact, a relationship. To inhabit is therefore a matter of time and reciprocity.

Indeed, prolonged exposure to certain ways of thought, specific languages, faces and stories shape us, generating habits. Thus, to inhabit generates correspondences between places and people. It is an act of co-construction, a never-ending research carried out side by side and together with the other.

Corrispondenze is the title of the project started in 2021 by Cristina Materassi and Paola Boscaini. Born with the intent of documenting how the forms and ways of inhabiting manifest themselves in the urban context, their research is built around the act of “corresponding”: a simple and yet essential practice of co-constructing profound relations with the setting and community we live in.

First of all, Corrispondenze is participation. At its very core is the capacity of offering a stimulus, a starting point to embrace the active intervention of the participants: an invitation to become co-authors in the process of construction and inhabit-a(c)ting the territory.

Corrispondenze takes on different forms and outcomes every time (material object, map, printed magazine, archive), it is a living project, open to the contribution of those who wish to come forward. In the artists’ research, the spheres of “individual” and “collective” inhabiting become an indissoluble pair: from the streets to the exhibition space, the grammar of correspondence adapts to different audiences and settings, transforming them into the ingredients of a new recipe, to be integrated and implemented time and time again.

In the spaces of Oggetti Specifici, the project unfolds around 5 thematic nuclei and just as many exhibition “islands”, whose aim is that to provide, if not answers, instructions on how to relate to space and its inhabitants:

  • To inhabit the encounter as the moment of activation of dialogue;
  • To inhabit communication as an act of collective construction;
  • To inhabit research and the fulfillment of the needs of a community;
  • To inhabit memory to process shared identity;
  • To inhabit information and create correspondences between individuals.

Five chapters to describe Corrispondenze through documentation and the different forms it took over time. Apparently ludic experiences with a homemade aesthetic that have been and still are available to the public to encourage the physical encounter with the surroundings.

What is needed are a traveling house on wheels, a treasure hunt, an embroidery workshop and, finally, play to rethink space and our way of living.

Corrispondenze is an artistic project born in 2021 as the result of the collaboration between Paola Boscaini and Cristina Materassi. An ongoing research that repeatedly takes shape through relational artistic practices and public participation.

Corrispondenze took place in the neighborhood of San Salvario from May to July 2021; in Prali for one day during the International Campus organized by Agape in August 2021; in Borgo San Paolo for Novissimi+ in October 2022; and in Borgo Dora for the artist residency sponsored by Torino Creativa and Paratissima in December 2022.

Since May 2022 Corrispondenze is also an independent art magazine.