Interview with Mazaccio & Drowilal: Collaborative Collages

Following an instant kinship upon first meeting, Elise Mazac and Robert Drowilal have been working under the name Mazaccio & Drowilal for the past few years. Sleek-Art caught up with the duo following their show at Paris Photo Los Angeles; read our interview below and see a selection of their work on Sleek-Art.Net, all of which are available for immediate purchase.

Mazaccio Drowilal, Enceintes, (PREGNANTS), 2014  Buy now on Sleek-Art Mazaccio Drowilal, Enceintes, (PREGNANTS), 2014
Available now on Sleek-Art 

Before you started working together as collaborators, what were your individual projects like?

Elise: Since the beginning, I have always been a big collector: sheets of paper towels, sexy postcards, but I also collected pictures and made collages with them. Before I started collaborating with Robert, I was leading a blog called “Daily Mazaccio” – a kind of visual laboratory.

Robert: Personally, I had a big interest in publishing – especially in artist books from Ed Ruscha to Erik Kessels, and including Robert Barry and Claude Closky. Before the duo got started, I self-published several books; among them was an encyclopaedia built from Hollywood's film stills and organised by sociological categories.

Mazaccio Drowilal, Et la poussette (the stroller), 2014 Available now on Sleek-Art Mazaccio Drowilal, Et la poussette (the stroller), 2014
Available now on Sleek-Art


How did your work change while you were at the Résidence BMW at the Musée Nicéphore Niépce?

E: We learned a lot during the three months we spend over there. We worked a lot, and we got a lot of technical and logistical support. We met nice people who became friends which was priceless.

R: Furthermore, the visibility of those exhibitions – Arles Fotofestival and Paris Photo – allowed us to reach a wider audience, which has lead to new book projects, commissions and exhibitions.

Mazaccio Drowilal, a la plage (on the beach), 2014  Available now on Sleek-Art Mazaccio Drowilal, a la plage (on the beach), 2014
Available now on Sleek-Art

In the “Paparazzis” series, you’ve paired tabloid cut-outs of celebrities with idealised backdrops of nature. Can you talk about the story behind this series?

E: The starting point of this series was a collection of celebs' pictures from their everyday activities like shopping and golfing, but all shot by the paparazzi. We collected them first from magazines, then from the internet.

R: Gathering the images in the same picture allows for the sensational side to be neutralised, so there was a shift from the "scoop" of catching a celeb, to an anonymous crowd. It seemed very interesting to us.

Mazaccio Drowilal, Font du surf (Going surfing), 2014 Available now on Sleek-Art Mazaccio Drowilal, Font du surf (Going surfing), 2014
Available now on Sleek-Art

What major projects do you have on the horizon?

R: We have been working for several months on a new project called "Antépisode”, which is French for “Prequel”. It’s a kind of investigation into digital companies following our trip to Silicon Valley, California, allowing us to continue questioning photographic language and display.

E: For us, photography doesn’t stop at the time we're taking pictures. I mean, we care about the way pictures are edited and exhibited. These choices can be full of meaning which is a big part of our work.

R: We just exhibited our work at Paris Photo Los Angeles as an installation: each photograph was paired with objects and emoji captions. At the same time, we're also working on a new artist book dealing with gender constitution entitled "Champagne”, which will be published by RVB books in Paris.

Interview by Nathan Ma

See more work by Mazaccio & Drowilal