Elena Damiani, "Impact Structures"Stockholm, August 18th - September 24th, 2016
Dust tail, 2016, Digital print on silk chiffon, steel, Print: 80 x 1060 cm, Rods: 80 cm length x 1.5 diameter, Unique
Working with collage, sculpture, video and installations Peruvian artist Elena Damiani employs the disciplines of geology, geography, cartography, archaeology and astronomy to reinterpret such categorisations and the way we understand the world around us. Her fictional and constructed landscapes propose alternative readings of geological time, history and humankind’s classifications of evidence. For her first exhibition at Galerie Nordenhake Damiani uses sources such as NASA, the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the U.S. Geological Survey repository to present a framework of quasi-evidence on celestial bodies like meteorites and comets and their landfalls.The works in the exhibition comprise documentation of traces of surface impacts, celestial transits, and cosmic debris left by impact events. Scientific evidence merges with fiction revealing how technology informs our representations of nature, and examining what we actually know about the natural world and how that knowledge is produced.
Dust Tail is a mosaic collage of images of diverse comets’ blazing dust tails printed on silk chiffon. The semi-transparent print hangs, suspended in layers, forming a half ellipse that describes the orbital trajectory that the comet follows.
Impact Structures comprises found archival documentation and data on small fallen celestial bodies found on site in a large photographic series. These are presented alongside a diagram mapping the occurrence of these landfalls around the world. In an accompanying suite of drawings Damiani describes the craters from colliding objects on the surface of the earth where impact records have not been obscured by geological processes or human alteration of the landscape.
The video work, Brighter Than the Moon, is composed of found footage of near-earth objects from a variety of sources such as ESA and NASA cross-spliced with microphotographs of meteorite samples. The asteroids, meteorites, and comets are shown partially, never in full. The multiplicity of images of disparate asteroid events interspersed with thin asteroid samples found on Earth creates a hybrid imagery in which macro and micro become one.
By re-assembling and reconstituting diverse scientific data and documentation Damiani asserts the material’s latent ambiguity. Scientific source material, considered rational and immutable is presented as a cultural construct, subject to interpretation and infused with alternative value systems, redirecting for more poetic and suggestive readings. Damiani's construction of fictions both emulates and disrupts our methodology of constructing meaning and knowledge via empirical observations. Her work seeks to contextualise the human endeavour to gain understanding about the Earth within the magnitude of geological scales of time.
Damiani studied Architecture at the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas and subsequently transferred to the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes Corriente Alterna where she graduated in Fine Arts in 2005. In 2010 she received her Masters in Fine Arts at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Her work has been exhibited at 13th Cuenca Biennial (upcoming), 11th Gwangju Biennale (upcoming), the Museo Amparo, Puebla (2016), IV Poly/Graphic Triennial San Juan, Vienna Biennale, 56th Venice Biennale, MUAC Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, MOCAD Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2015), Americas Society, New York, BIM Bienal de la Imagen y Movimiento, Buenos Aires (2014), Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, MAC Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Lima (2013), Government Art Collection, London (2012), Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia (2009), MAMBA Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, IVAM Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Valencia (2007), Kunstmuseum, Bonn (2006). She was awarded the Commission for a permanent site-specific installation at the Americas Society’s David Rockefeller Atrium in New York (2014). She currently lives and works in Copenhagen and Lima.
N.01-N.06 ( N.01 (Arlit), N.02 (BP Structure), N. 03 (Ambar Lake), N.04 (Tenoumer), N.05 (Wolfe Creek), N.06 (Aorounga)), 2016, Series of 6 pencil drawings on cotton paper, 37 x 52.5 cm
World map of circular depressions, 2016, G print on cotton paper, 77 x 104 cm, Edition of 3
World map of circular depressions, Detail
Samples 1-8, 2016, Series of 8 digital prints, 86 x 120 cm each, Edition of 3