MoMaz: My House Your House | Solo Show

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022 – Jan 20, 2023

500 N. Michigan Ave, Ste 1450, Chicago, IL 60611

Visits by appointment only | Register | Open Wednesday through Friday, from 10:00am to 4:00pm


The Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago presents “My House Your House,”  a solo show by Italian photographer MoMaz, Monica Mazzotto. The photographs of MoMaz begin in abandoned spaces, representing an opportunity for Nature to come back center stage, and to reclaim a lost and wounded kingdom. A combination of irony, imperfections and harmony, these photographs represent the intersection between the artists' two identities: ethologist and photographer. 

In this series, MoMaz presents us with abandoned spaces from a decadent Detroit, but inhabited by the livelihood of animals, a vital element inside the ruin of our world. In this unusual balance, there is space for everyone. It is a game where the likelihood of the context loses importance, and the possibilities of a new reality become the true focus of the experience.  

Born in Rome, Monica Mazzotto lives between Chicago and Turin and has loved animals and photography deeply for as long as she can remember. After majoring in Natural Sciences from the University of Turin, she received her PhD in Animal Biology from the University of Pisa. After studying animals for many years she decided to pursue a career in scientific journalism, and thanks to collaboration with several newspapers and television stations she became a publicist journalist. Later on, she turned to photography and in the last year she has participated in several solo and group exhibitions, in Detroit and Chicago; her photographs now selected to participate in Paratissima 2022, a contemporary art exhibition in Turin.

Her art project was born from the intricate crossing of her two great passions: animal behavior and photography. What MoMaz loves to photograph is how time modifies spaces, giving them a completely original form of grace. For her, there can be no beauty without Nature, but at the same time hers is a search for beauty without perfection. Her photographs of abandoned places bring back the concept of imperfect, unusual harmony. A worn, lived-in, but never dead aesthetic.

This is the first part of her story. This is the first part of the story of her places. The one about their past. But without the second part, this story is incomplete. The second part is the part that tells the present of these places. In her photographs, humans are absent, they have gone away leaving the stage empty. First they invaded and then withdrew. But their absence has given Nature and other animals a chance to get a peaceful revenge and take back a world that was once theirs. MoMaz's places are abandoned, but never deserted and even less lonely. On the contrary, they are living places, where animals, once sheltered from humans, can live free. Safe at last. In her photographs, animals are a vital element in a world that is ruined to our naive eyes, but not to theirs. MoMaz’s animals live serenely in environments in which we too, have had a chance to enjoy in the past. Most of the time however, wasting it.

For a preview of the artist’s work, visit