The return to a premodern idea of becoming, Marta Alexandra Abbott and Naessi Studio unframe time as each moment flows into the next in Time, Framed
Promoting a generation that proposes itself as the bridge between global and local thinking – this is Edit Napoli. A design fair focused on valorizing the designer-maker figure embraces Naples heritage. The fair is sited in the Complesso Monumentale di San Domenico Maggiore, a Dominican monastery that hosted Tommaso d’Aquino and Giordano Bruno. Amongst the projects showcased this year Time, Framed, is a collaborative effort by Marta Alexandra Abbott and Naessi Studio.
Abbott is a cosmopolite artist: born in Amsterdam, after wandering between Connecticut, Prague, and New York, she has settled down in Rome. Aiming to develop her personal voice, she studied painting, drawing, art restoration, and floral design, converging into an artistic output focused on nature. Abbott paints her canvases using natural inks, earth pigments, and other non-traditional materials, reflecting an idea of discovery and change and the positive embrace of weakness as an engine that fuels evolution.
Naessi Studio is a creative advice studio that unites the knowledge and know-how of its founders, Eleonora Carbone and Alessandro D’Angeli. Designers a few, abstain from conforming to designing an object and subsequently handing it over to the manufacturer to proceed with the assemblage of its fabrication. A design-maker is involved in its crafting, revealing the artisanal side of production often executed offstage.
Abbott and Naessi Studio’s collaboration started in 2020, grounded in the idea that design can be the instrument to set the foundations in which art is created. The two disciplines complete themselves like bones and flesh. They have given birth to a piece that reflects on the nature of time using materials as a vehicle, in a process that redefines fragility as a virtue than that of shame. Time, Framed is a calendar with two souls and a single purpose: the custom-built brass frame by Studio Naessi holds 12 pages painted by Abbott on translucent paper to subvert the calendar concept, a scientific instrument of measuring and planning.
Against the idea of a structure created to bind and control time, the piece expresses the struggle of a mathematical system trying to measure the immeasurable. It suggests returning to a pre-modern idea of time, free from the boundaries of clocks and calculating devices. The work exposes its thesis by juxtaposition: each page’s translucent paper allows the passage of light, blending the current pages with the previous and creating new visuals each time a surface is turned. The project’s goal is to encourage ways of perceiving time. Abbot and Naessi Studio chose to represent every month of the year with a collection of numbers, words, colors, textures, and shapes capable of evoking feelings from a precise moment. The array of symbols links each month to the time of day: December, for example, is connected with midnight. The calendar made of brass will alter in appearance with its exposition to time, air and touch, creating the idea that change is inherent to all existing things; it is a natural part of our lives.
Edit Napoli selects an exclusive group of international, independent producers, craftsmen, and enlightened manufacturers, emerging as a force within contemporary design. It throws a spotlight on designer-makers who are on the rise and at the forefront of a movement that is challenging the chain of production and distribution. A Mediterranean capital in the international circuit of culture, Naples has an ongoing art scene and a vibrant community of collectors and progressive cultural institutions.