Ivano Facchinetti, in collaboration with Gianni Realini
Smozz e Papga, 2009
Smozz: coated aluminium, 6.02 × 6.70 × 0.8 m
Papga: synthetic resin, 11.45 × 33.5 m and 2.80 × 7.18 m
Letter Centre Eclépens

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The letter centre in Eclépens is located on a green field surrounded by scattered industrial and commercial buildings. It occupies an area equivalent to the size of three football fields. This inconspicuous location and the functional, monumental industrial architecture nearby inspired Ivano Facchinetti and Gianni Realini to propose Smozz e Papga, a compelling artwork that the letter centre staff were invited to identify with. Smozz is a six-metre-high, orange-coloured aluminium sculpture that can be seen from afar, taking on the characteristics of a mascot. Papga, a monumental blue wall and floor painting, takes up the sculpture’s form inside the building, which creates a connection with the outside space. At the same time, it sets a colour contrast to the sculpture. The three stripes that adorn Smozz are also found on Papga.

Ivano Facchinetti (1952, Locarno) conceived the project in collaboration with Gianni Realini (1943, Soregno). As a painter and sculptor, Facchinetti works intensively with spaces and architecture. Some of his wall objects make explicit references to Smozz e Papga: they combine colours, forms, and textures in a humorous way, transcending the rectangular canvas of classical paintings. Facchinetti’s delight in nonsense is reflected in the titles of his works: the words “Smozz” and “Papga” have no meaning. According to the artists, the Smozz sculpture is meant to embody both dynamism and standstill, symbolizing the transition from hand-distributed mail to a high-tech process. The floor and wall painting Papga marks a kind of path or an island of contemplation. 

Facchinetti and Realini developed the project in 2009 as part of a single-stage competition held by the Swiss Post, to which four other artists were invited. It was the commission’s wish that the artwork should emphasize the value of the people in the company and the modernity of the letter centre.