ELENA DAMIANI

 

 

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Mere rocks ... may surprise, but can hardly please; they are too far removed from common life, too barren, and inhospitable, rather desolate than solitary, and more horrid than terrible; so austere a character cannot be long engaging, if its rigour is not softened by circumstances. Thomas Whately ‘Observations of Modern Gardening'


Elena_Damiani_The_Erratic_Marbles_collage_series_installation_view


The series of 36 collages juxtaposes marbled endpapers taken from voyage journals, atlases, and other manuscripts from the late 1700s to the early 1800s, with found photographs of erratic boulders. The title indicates the notion of a wandering body and suggests a sediment irregular in pattern. Correspondingly -and more precisely- it refers to the geological term of a boulder that differs from the surrounding rock and is believed to have been brought from a distance by glacial action. While associations of displacement and resistance to time surface between the set of pages that have been removed from their original volumes and the out-of-place geological formations, the decorative patterns are confronted by the images of mere rocks, counterpoising the overly aestheticized with the austere naked simplicity.

 

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The Erratic Marbles N1. Collage. 2014

Elena_Damiani_The_Erratic_Marbles_collage_2

The Erratic Marbles N2. Collage. 2014

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The Erratic Marbles N5. Collage. 2014

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The Erratic Marbles N9. Collage. 2014

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The Erratic Marbles N20. Collage. 2014

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The Erratic Marbles N24. Collage. 2014

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The Erratic Marbles N28. Collage. 2014

Elena_Damiani_The_Erratic_Marbles_collage_30

The Erratic Marbles N30. Collage. 2014

 

The original marbled endpapers come from atlases, manuscripts and travelling journals from the late 1700s and 1800s. The images of the marbled papers were found in the Digital Public Library of America, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the David Rumsey Map Collection. The images of the erratic rocks are mainly from the United States and the United Kingdom, found in the US Geological Survey Photographic Library and the British National Archive of Geological Photographs.