STRATARIUM – Elena Redaelli

Italiano (Italian)

25.01 – 15.02.2024
Amyd arte spazio
Via Lovanio, 6, 20121 Milano MI

EconomArt by Amy-d Arte Spazio in Milano launches the new 2024 exhibiting season on 25 January with STRATARIUM, the project by Elena Redaelli curated by Barbara Pavan critical essay by Maria Chiara Wang.

Redaelli’s research – based on authentic relations with nature, carried out through environmental practices and developed through study and by “attentive and loving” working with matter – expands the gallery’s groundwork that, since its debut in 2010, has combined contemporary art, economics, technology and scientific research with an interdisciplinary and hybrid approach.

In the hand of the artist, materials – paper, fibres, natural elements – become a means of investigation and communication with the surrounding environment, thus attributing to art the role of a cognitive, active and relational instrument in a dynamic process that connects the artist, public and environment.

The artworks establish a dialogue with the gallery’s rooms and permeate them, creating a new habitat and projecting the viewer into a suspended dimension between past, present and future. The suggested time is slow and different, reminiscent of rocks’ formation and transformation processes, consisting of a web of events, a granular and indeterminate time, as theorised by physicist Carlo Rovelli. There is also a strong sense of impermanence and transience evoked by the fragile materials and structures and the seemingly unstable balances of the sculptural assemblages.

The “stratification” in the exhibition project’s title refers to the structure of some of the works made by overlapping, manipulating, compressing and folding paper and natural fibres, emulating nature’s mechanical forming processes, and to the related concept of archive: the sculptures embedding in their volumes “stories of gestures, time, animals, plants” as a result of profound contamination between elements.

Within the above context and her broader artistic journey, Redaelli challenges authorship by sharing her creative process: some works are shaped by atmospheric phenomena and microorganisms, and others arise from collaborations such as those with ZAC – Zest Artist Collective.

By Maria Chiara Wang

Lichen Body is part of Nature Dance, a ZAC – Zest Artist Collective project for Landart Andorra 2021. The collective, composed of six international artists from Italy, Namibia, Holland, Spain, Peru and Australia, created a ritual circle to celebrate the indissoluble relationship with the specific ecosystem of their country of origin through a deep immersion in nature’s rhythms and vibrations. Through symbolic dance, the work advocates the need for an awareness of human beings’ role in the web of life.

Lichen Body, 2020 Stampa digitale UVLed su TPPFBRFLOW finitura opaca Dimensioni 130x200 cm

Making Soft Water inquires into the material as a carrier of meaning, a dynamic, changeable matter inter-connecting different substances.

Water permeates bodies, crossing their membranes, and teaches us that, unlike isolated entities, we are all part of a vast system of interconnections. Water makes us equal and fluid entities.

My work is a visual investigation of the impermanence of water. As it does on the surface of the planet, water, while disappearing, leaves its memory on the wool, creating cracks, holes, caves and valleys: a succession of blanks and creases, voids and solids, with a proper atmosphere where stories of gesture, time, animals, plants and humans are invisibly archived. Written on the surface of these panels is the result of deep contamination or a secret way of communicating among elements. We, humans, are a part of this system of interdependency, small drops of something bigger.

The sound of felt making reminds us of the circularity of oceanic eddies, water and wool becoming a soft surface, human gestures kneading and compressing matter, binding fibre after fibre into a mass with new properties.

*inspired by the concept of Hydro feminism in Astrida Neimanis: “Hydrofeminismò: on becoming a body of water” (in Undutiful Daughters: Mobilizing Future Concepts, Bodies and Subjectivities in Feminist Thought and Practice, eds. Henriette Gunkel, Chrysanthi Nigianni and Fanny Söderbäck. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)

Quasi-static, 2022. Recycled paper pulp, papier-mâché, felted wool, and cardboard on an iron structure. Site-specific Installation, variable dimensions.

Masses of paper pulp and wool are held together in a quasi-stable manner. The work system performs an imperceptible, almost static ideal transformation, where intermediate states of development are close to equilibrium, the bodies tending towards true transformation.

Quasi-static, 2022 Polpa di carta riciclata e cartapesta, lana infeltrita, cartone, struttura in ferro. Installazione site specific, dimensioni variabili.

Interazioni effimere. The installation, through layering paper and wool fibres, proposes considering time as a complex structure of layers. The small works reflect on the transience of existence, exploring the concept of impermanence and decay. The sculptural pieces represent the unfolding of events where the remains of what was once solid, structured and functional are now reduced to accumulations of matter. The viewer is led to reflect on the concept of the “present” memory, and the traces we leave behind us.

Interazioni effimere, 2023. Installazione site specific: carta lavorata a mano e stratificata, strutture in legno e ferro.

Infinite slowness is a research project started in 2020 that is currently being developed through a quest that attributes a semantic value to time as the key element for understanding the vitality of human and non-human objects and their intimate relationship of co-dependence.

This project speaks of the signs left on the surfaces by time, the geological strata, the empty spaces excavated by water, and the visual archives of the world’s memory and history. Through a sensorial exploratory mode, body and mind reflect the landscape and incorporate its morphological features and impalpable essence resulting from a weave of interactions and layers, cultural, material, and emotional.

Strati di tempo davanti a noi. Casting a glance into the sky’s infinity where the celestial objects shine, we see a past that has nothing to do with our human-sized present. In their concretions, these artworks hold inaccessible mysteries hidden in the folds of time. They are certainly not of our planet.

Strati di tempo davanti a noi, 2023 - Grani di altri pianeti – Installazione site-specific

Elena Redaelli is a visual artist, researcher and active member of international environmental art movements. Her works have been exhibited in Europe, Asia, the United States, and Africa and are included in permanent collections in the United States, Russia, and Italy. Redaelli’s work investigates matter and its transformation, generation and decay processes through relational art projects where artistic action expands towards a choral and shared authorship. Research and production methods are complementary and merge in public, environmental and site-responsive art projects involving long periods of time, manual labour, craft techniques and organic processes. The artist values, researches, and uses ancient practices: hand-weaving, knitting, crocheting, felting, embroidery, and papermaking through sustainable techniques that promote the use of natural, recycled, and local materials.