This body of work has been produced in Portugal at the residency Pó De Vir A Ser in February 2023 and in Amsterdam. The works was shown at the gallery AdK in Amsterdam as a duo show with the artist Laura Malpique.
Solo Show at PlanB in November 2022
Time Entanglement by Elena Giolo
As if it was recently excavated, Elena Giolo’s sculpture seems to be a sort of a peculiar machine or even a kind of time portal. This tube shaped object can bring to one’s mind the form of a particle accelerator, though while examining it closely, we can assume that this instrument does not serve the acceleration of time, but the contrary - it asks to make it slower.
On one hand, the mechanical gears are carved with symbols that represent an
obsession with time - whether it would be the solar calendar or the movement of a teleporting atom. On the other hand, the gentle spin of the water bulb and its reflection stretches our perception of time, calling us to stare, to linger, to stall.
The windows of the space are covered by adhesive foil elements, referring to the painting found in the Magura Cave in Bulgaria. Some archeologists claim that these paintings are the first testimony of human beings dealing with time - trying to measure it, to divide it and to a certain extent, to control it.
However, post-processual archeology reminds us that discipline is tainted by
human interpretation and social factors: the cave painting of the sun can generate many different narratives, depending on the time it is conceived.
Giolo’s artistic practice is often dealing with this very point: while looking at an object, how many stories can be imagined? For Time Entanglement, through her new pieces, Elena thrives to propose, in the same vein, stories of progressivism and anachronism.
Noam Alon, October 2022
This project was supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts)img_1765.mov
Part of the Prospects & Concepts in Art Rotterdam in May 2022.
"What kind of fossils will future archaeologists find as they search for traces of our time thousands of years from now? According to paleontologist Roy Plotnick, they will mainly find remains of humans, cows, pigs and chickens. Together, humans and their livestock have outnumbered wild animals, he says. The chance that wild animals will be found as fossils in thousands of years is therefore much smaller. Elena Giolo (1993) used this idea as the starting point for her installation. On an elevation she presents a fictitious future archaeological excavation of pig bones. The sculptures are made of alabaster, marble and serpentine, types of stone that share many qualities with fossils.
Elena Giolo is inspired for her sculptures by scientific insights, for example from paleontology and anthropology. In earlier work, the body was concerned with automatic responses of the body, such as blushing, crying, sneezing. Can objects also cry or feel ashamed? And what does that look like? In Your Tears Are Delicious (2019), Giolo translated these questions into a series of leaky, slimy sculptures. Her recent work mixes the language and aesthetics of science with fictional elements. "I'm interested in the aesthetics of archaeological excavations and in the stories fossils tell about life and extinction," she says. "In this installation I use objects that we normally use to talk about the past, namely fossils, to tell a story about the future."
Text by Sarah van Binsbergen
Memories from Kamerlingh, 2021
Concrete, steel rods
Theses pieces were part of the show: “Architecture of Goodbye” at Laurel project space in November 2021.
"Elena Giolo’s artistic practice currently focuses on the aesthetics and narratives inherent to fossils and their relationship to architecture. Both fossils and buildings give us glimpses of the past they symbolise, and these glimpses sparked Elena’s most recent body of work. In Memories from Kamerlingh she attempts to capture some of these flashes of the past, born from external and internal features from the Kamerlingh Onneslaan building. By reimagining aspects of the building such as the stained glass windows, imprints of vegetation from the courtyard and the facade she shows us a different perspective on remembrance. Through her sculptures, artefacts and ‘false fossils’ Elena stages an archeological site - using steel reinforcement cages as her canvas."
Text by Jean-Michel Mabruki Mussa
Metamorphosis Part I, 2021
Albast ceramic, resin
is inspired by the metamorphosis of the caterpillar. During its transformation, the caterpillar's body becomes mush, only the imaginary discs remain intact. These allow keeping the memory of the body of the caterpillar which will then be transmitted to the butterfly. Inspired by this phenomenon, I have created sculptures and prints that explore the idea of memory passing from one body to another.
Tears of Sleeping Birds, 2020
is the beginning of sculptural research on tears and its materiality. The project is inspired by the Amazonian moth erbid moth (Gorgone Macarea) which drinks the tears of sleeping birds to feed on nutrients such as sodium or proteins.
MUMBLING BUMBLING GRUMBLING, 2018
ceramics, foam, electrical cables, paint
"A twitch: when an animal turns out to keep some machine inside it. A stutter: when the ghost-in-the-machine drops its sheet and turns out (surprise!) to be another machine. A blush: a ghost that feels, falls, gets embarrassed: and an animal that doesn’t so much fall as descend, revealing its soft belts and rotors. The animal is busy becoming a machine, which is busy becoming a ghost, which is busy becoming an animal becoming a machine becoming a ghost becoming a... These involuntary gestures reveal the others in ourselves, the sensitive machines and psychological animals and repetitive ghosts. They make us strangers to ourselves. Everywhere we keep company with strangers. "
By Becket Flannery