ELPIDA HADZI - VASILEVA
8 July - 23 August 2015
Fragility was a new site-specific work commissioned by Fabrica from Macedonian born and now Brighton resident, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva.
A series of delicate veils filled 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, invited us in. At the centre of the work one clear viewpoint toward the filtered light from the main window was revealed, an experience the artist compared to the flash of light reportedly observed when close to death.
Fragility, like much of the artist’s work over the past decade, re-appropriated animal viscera. In this instance caul fat, a membrane that holds the vital organs together, was 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 lay 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.
Internationally renowned, Elpida 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.
Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva is of Macedonian origin but most of her professional training has taken place in the UK, where she graduated from the Glasgow School of Art and the RCA, London. She has exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad.
In 2013 she represented the Republic of Macedonia at 55th Venice Biennale. Her new work Haruspex is currently presented at the Pavilion of the Holy See at the 56th Venice Biennale, until 22 November 2015.
Her work was featured in a Sculpture Magazine article by Robert Preece …magical, disturbing, richly-layered works with an aesthetic resonance.
Elpida has exhibited previously at Fabrica. Her exhibition, Re/sort, was shown in the gallery in 2002.
Into that Good Night
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.