Scott Heinrich departed Fabrica a few weeks ago, in a slow and careful manner – farewelling person by person. It was like when you take off a band-aid really really slow, releasing each hair, careful not to pull any out with you. Here is his farewell interview, the most articulate ever, with all you need to know about Fabrica as a place, experience, phenomena.
What was life like before Fabrica?
Corporate and numb. Before applying to Fabrica I was generally irritated by my surroundings, work, culture, lifestyle, everything. But I was also very inspired. I have since learned that my subconscious revels and rebels in situations where I am generally disappointed with my situation. The result is a heightened and inspired state of consciousness. So in this sense (before Fabrica), I was motivated and determined to achieve something greater than what I had.
What was life like at Fabrica?
Chaotic, inspiring, heartbreaking, uplifting, surreal and awe-inspiring. Bust most importantly it is what you make of it. Some people dislike chaos, but I love it. Chaos is where opportunity lies, and is where I was most productive. If Fabrica was organised and orderly, I would have not have experienced, collaborated, or experimented as much as I did.
As for our lifestyle, Fabrica is a bubble, completely void of reality yet also somehow symbolic of a lifetime. Emotionally (albeit abstractly) I experienced a birth, death, and marriage all within my scholarship. You make intense friendships that last on average of 4-6 months, which are soon followed by a farewell, and then repeated again and again. I feel very privileged to have met so many ‘best friends’ from all over the world, yet at times being so far removed from them can be very painful.
What did you learn at Fabrica?
Fabrica untaught everything I thought I knew about being creative. I arrived a naive university graduate, and left two years later even more naive. This has been a process that I am most proud of. I have gained too many insights to list here, but there is one piece of advice from Enrico that has become even more relevant to me in recent weeks…
”ehh Scotta, you listen to me. Start. Just start. You people think to much, its all in your mind. People, young people, think too hard about where they belong in the world, or they fantasise too much about their dreams. By the time you decide what you want to do, the race is already finished. Finito! Capisco? Ehh, you understand?” — Enrico Bossan
Basically this means don’t waste time daydreaming or holding out for grandeur. Stop thinking ‘what if?’ You have exactly what you need to start right now — yourself. I also learned that a flaw in the mentality of Fabricanti is in asking permission to work on personal projects, submitting themselves to the status quo, and accepting the defeat. This is completely backward, and a form of procrastination. I am not directing this at anyone specifically, but is more so an attitude that I have seen passed from one generation to the next. And an attitude that I am asking current and new Fabricanti to change for the good of all future generations.
During my first year at Fabrica I found myself to be in a position of creative autism. Here was an environment where I was absorbing so much information and inspiration daily, that I lost clarity of what I was trying to achieve. This induced a constant state of daydreaming, which is euphoric and fantastical, but self-destructive if you are intending to be productive. And seeing as most of us enter Fabrica with high expectations, these distractions (and others) can become a real problem. Phoebe and Babak both individually helped me in controlling these distractions, but it wasn’t until I encountered the writings of Gertrude Stein that I truly understood how to create what she describes as an ‘inspired feedback loop’, a way of balancing chaos (inspiration) with productivity.
I guess what Im saying is that yes there are problems and distractions within Fabrica, but this is true for all large creative organisations, or even solo pursuits. It is very difficult to ask 25 young creatives to conform to one structure, or one model of working. In the end it seems best to remain flexible and willing for anarchy to reign, while also maintaining a balance of control in order to be productive. This applies to Fabrica as a collective as well as to the students individually.
I am truly grateful to have gained such insights, and I encourage other Fabricanti to do the same.
Most memorable moments?
During my final week in Treviso, I realised how full of memories these medieval laneways had become. Each street corner housed the celebration of a birthday, arrival or farewell. It felt as if I were already experiencing a past life.
Some of my favourite past lives included our crossdressing escapades with Matt, Miren and Pia, idyllic bike rides along River Sile with nearly everyone, teaching Piero how to pronounce the word ‘ruckus’ on route to Lago Morta, sharing the joys of a Tim-Tam Slam with Donovan and Becka, returning home exhausted from a day at the Venice Biennale, and having Tomonaga cook you his famous Miso Soup, before rushing off for a one euro vino bianco with Lawrence at Torqai.
But most vividly I remember the bar where I first met Phoebe, the markets where I would meet Lars every Saturday morning, and Mama’s Pizzeria (aka Gianburrasca) where Brad and I would talk about girls, films, and the injustices of Fabrica.
Three weeks ago, I moved back to Adelaide (Austraia) where I am now freelancing as an art director, and continuing my experiments and development into the realm of video making. I hope to start making documentaries about farmers in the Australian outback, because while I was abroad I realised that ‘country Australia’ has its own unique dialect that is considered foreign by the rest of the world. A characteristic I now find fascinating.
I hope my answers are not sounding pessimistic, because I feel quite the opposite. Every day I was surrounded by amazingly talented individuals who just by their presence fill you with hope and confidence. Letting go of this community is by far the hardest part of leaving Fabrica.
As for the new Fabricanti, and old ones…
Dont become too comfortable or take things for granted. Stop complaining. Never wait for your opportunities, always chase them. Collaborate at all costs. Agitate, question, and support each other. At all times, have ONE (and only one) concise vision for YOURSELF and your personal project. It’s easy to be distracted by commercial work or false initiatives, so the more focused you remain, the more likely you will achieve your dream goal. Most importantly, enjoy what you do. You’re living in Utopia right now.
Thanks Scott, for your support of everything and everyone, and buon viaggio for your next creative journey.