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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva: Fragility

"Fragility is a site-specific work commissioned by Fabrica from Macedonian born and now Brighton resident, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva.

A series of delicate veils fill the central atrium of Fabrica’s building, a former church: rising from floor to ceiling, diffusing the light, obscuring the way forward. Two narrow passages, carefully pierced through the veined walls, invite us in. At the centre of the work one clear viewpoint toward the filtered light from the main window is revealed, an experience the artist compares to the flash of light reportedly observed when close to death.

Fragility, like much of the artist’s work over the past decade, re-appropriates animal viscera. In this instance caul fat, a membrane that holds the vital organs together, is transformed from a perishable waste product of the pork industry into a sublimely beautiful translucent material via a lengthy chemical process akin to embalming.

Beyond its sensory impact, much of the pleasure in the work lies in understanding its inherent contradictions: the disconnect between the initial state of the material and its aesthetically pleasing result; the artist’s need to witness decay and her effort to halt it, and her desire to bury the viewer in a corporeal labyrinth whilst all the time suggesting a dimension beyond the physical."

"Hadzi-Vasileva works site-specifically across sculpture, installation, video and sound, photography and architectural intervention. Central to her practice is a response to the particularities of place: its history, locale, environment and communities and the materials she chooses to work with are determined by the particularities of the commission she is undertaking."

"She has exhibited extensively and realised numerous commissions nationally and internationally, in gallery spaces, museums and within the public realm. Past sites and commissions include Pied à Terre London, Gloucester Cathedral Gloucester, Towner Gallery Eastbourne, Southgate Bath, L’H du Siège France, Kilmainham Gaol Museum Ireland, 51st Venice Biennale and Public Room Skopje."

She has exhibited previously at Fabrica when for re/sort, she "devised a delicate ‘altar screen’ of fish bones as a new site specific installation for Fabrica’s church interior." In addition, she "re-created epidermis, a whirlpool of salmon skins suspended on shimmering threads."

Her major new work Haruspex is currently presented at the Pavilion of the Holy See at the 56th Venice Biennale, until 22 November 2015. Haruspex is a site specific installation responding to the theme In the Beginning … the Word became flesh and further inspired by Van Eyck's The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. This "monumental architectural installation, whose “fabric” is almost a skin, a mantle, welcomes visitors both in a physical and symbolic dimension at the same time. Realized with organic waste materials in a way which leads from the ready-made to the re-made, the artist creates a cloth that is both an embroidery and surface skin, physical presence and transparency, an instrument of suggestion and surprise."

"Fragility generates many questions concerning our attitudes to decay and finitude. It is the second of three artist works connected to the theme of death and dying that Fabrica is producing until 2017 as part of the Into That Good Night exhibition and events programme. Each of these commissions explores an aspect of mortality or morbidity via the artist’s work and through discussions and other events in the gallery programme. Visit the blog for more information."


Duke Special - Last Night I Nearly Died.

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