ELENA DAMIANI

 

 

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"For the ‘matter itself' is no more than the strata which yield their long-sought secrets only to the most meticulous investigation […] images that, severed from all earlier associations, reside as treasures in the sober rooms of our later insights––like torsos in a collector’s gallery." - Walter Benjamin, Excavation and Memory, Gesammelte Schriften, IV, vol.1

elena_damiani_excavaciones_ARCO_2014_diagrama

 

In Excavaciones, Damiani covers part of the exhibition space, bringing together a collection of marble sculptures, allowing a partial view of the latter through a semi-translucent surface. The installation is composed of three elements arranged successively: On the inside, a set of stone pillars of different sizes rise from the ground. Then a print on silk chiffon wraps these sculptures by covering them as a veil. Finally, on the outside, a collage on a found bookplate suggests the occurrence of some hidden natural event. The resulting image is a landscape in ruins, fragile and ephemeral.  The ghostlike scenery invites the viewer to reflect upon the passage of time and the processes of decay and disappearance of both physical and mental constructions.

 

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Excavaciones. Installation view. Arco Solo Projects 2014

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Excavaciones. Elsewheres II N06. Collage

 

The installation presents a parallel between the notion excavation as a process of analysis of sedimentary stratigraphy in a certain place, and the understanding of memory as a means to penetrate a number of layers covering past memories. The stones on display exhibit excavation as a destructive activity, which involves removing natural and anthropogenic deposits in the reverse order in which they have been formed. The fabric coatings present the process of excavating as a visual exercise where the eye is immersed through the membranes surrounding the installation. This stratification results in the perception of sequential and simultaneous references in order to build a space that exemplifies the mechanisms of memory. Dialectics of permanence and transience, interior and exterior, object and image, reverberate with overlapping planes and figures that seem to blend on a silk filter along the space.

 

elena_damiani_excavaciones_ARCO_extended_field_1

Excavaciones (Extended field). Digital print on silk chiffon. Detail


elena_damiani_excavaciones_ARCO_extended_field_2

Excavaciones (Extended field). Digital print on silk chiffon. Detail

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Excavaciones (Extended field). Digital print on silk chiffon. Detail

elena_damiani_excavaciones_ARCO_extended_field_4

Excavaciones (Extended field). Digital print on silk chiffon. Detail

Excavaciones_extended-field-landscape_elena_damiani

Excavaciones (Extended field). Four digital prints on silk chiffon. 2014