Curated by Albert Heta
26/11/2014 – 18/1/2015
Opening: 26/11/2014 at 20:00
Performance: 26/11/2014 at 20:30
Stacion - Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina is proud to present the first solo exhibition by Elena Bajo, centered on her new project, Timeless Considerations. Bajo’s Art practice is proposed as a hybrid form of sculpture (or "sculpting") and choreography, objects and movement, in which images are perceived and simultaneously evoked in the viewer's critical imagination through the artworks.
Timeless Considerations at Stacion - Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina is an installation exploring historical processes of cultural voids. Bajo’s work references historic objects and artifacts to trace in an intuitive way connections across multiple disciplines, political, cultural and economic over time.
Bajo analyses imagery from both digital and analogue sources, historical archives of objects and systems of information storage. In this new project for Stacion - Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina, she focuses on a moment of world’s exhaustion. Bajo, taking the role of a new breed of cosmic artisan, crafts and weaves and choreographs fragments found in her anthropological research on the relevance of mythologies, goddess cults and methods of forecasting natural phenomena in ancient civilizations, such as dream interpretation to predict the future (oneiromancy) into the contemporary reality, under the hypothesis of a new geophysical era, one that is characterized by exhaustion of earth resources but at the same time embodies the desire of eternal life and infinite re-production of capital, into a hybrid new manifestation and perception of what “natural” and “artificial” is.
A new unspecific cosmology or Naturalia/Artificialia is created, the one that considers the gaps and voids, the faults and absences of myth, creating a choreographic alternative archive, politically inclined by default, what Bajo’s calls the sculptural unarchive of the ecosophical turn.
For Timeless Considerations, Bajo researched and travelled to Prishtina, home to a web of cultures, and engaged in an in situ research of their mythology, in present archeological excavations, ethnographic museum archives and local artisan organizations of women. First, by exposing and unveiling traces of these myths in everyday objects, their presence or absence on these artifacts, or what is left of them, such as in the flag of the city.
By considering the absence of these myths as much as their presence, it is said that dance is what happens in between movements, the development and unfolding of new objects takes place which are called transitional objects. These moments of transition, are linked though to the accelerated speed of life as we experience it now, and a new kind of materiality is contemplated, hyperobjects, defined by Timothy Morton as “objects so massively distributed in time and space as to transcend localization, such as climate change (global warming) and styrofoam”.
Second, her research expands into the digital realm by using digital archives of images and online divination games, imagery generated algorithmically by searches using different data input and suited to the “questioner’s” subjectivity and of the contingency, chance objects are created.
As a third line of enquiry Bajo researches Botanist and Herbalist sources in relationship to the use of active principles present in plants to induce dreams, drugs generating altered state of consciousness and the link to shamanistic ritualistic practices used for divinatory purposes in which the dreamer walks into the future, and a third kind of materialization occurs what Bajo calls power objects.
And fourth, a consideration is given to methods of dealing with man made ecological impact, and animal and vegetal species extinction processes, compared to ancient prophecies of floods and climatic disasters, research with Natural Resources Protection Programs and conservation programs environmental Emergency will be contemplated.
Timeless Considerations expands on Bajo’s latest project With Entheogenic Intent(Burn the Witch) presented in 18th Street Arts Center, Los Angeles, in April of 2014 after a three month’s residency, focused in the local mythologies of American indigenous cultures and its global political resonance. Bajo’s work is engaged with the relationship between objects and abstract narratives and how those voids and abstractions reflect on politics and power dynamics.
She researches the history of cultures to contemplate the ways in which “objects” embody values and social systems of the past and of the future. By reenacting situations and objects that have disappeared, Bajo connects the devastation processes of material objects and the obliteration of cultural capital, simultaneously referencing on both ancient and digital methods of learning about the world.
Elena Bajo (1976) is an artist originally from Madrid, Spain lives and works between Berlin and Los Angeles. Her concept-generated and research based practice is concerned with the social and political dimensions of everyday spaces, the strategies to conceptualize resistance, the poetics of ideologies, and the relationship between temporalities and subjectivities. She works individually and collectively across installation, sculpture, painting, performance, participatory events, film, text and writing. Recent solo exhibitions: A Universe comes into being when a Space is severed or taken apart , ARTIUM Museum Vitoria-Gasteiz, Vitoria, Spain; An Arbitrary issue, Garcia Galeria, Madrid; The Absence of Work, D+T Project Gallery, Brussels; With Entheogenic Intent (Burn the Witch) 18th St Arts Center; La Femme Radicale or The Point of No Return, 2013, D+T Project Brussels (BE); The Absence of Work, 2012, Platform3, Munich (DE); The Factory of Forms, 2012, Manifesta Parallel, Genk (BE) and group shows Marlborough Contemporary; Zero Hours, Art Sheffield 2013 Sheffield UK; Original Doubt at Plataforma Revolver, Lisbon; Throw a Rock and see what happens, Casa Encendida, Madrid; Vers une Hypothese Fort Du Bruissin Xll Lyon Biennial Lyon, Material Conceptualism at Anaant and Zoo Gallery, Berlin; Pacific Standard Time, LAXART, 2012, Los Angeles; Studies for an Exhibition, David Roberts Art Foundation; Perform Now! Los Angeles 2010; Registered, White Columns, New York, 2009; Bread and Roses 101, University of Trash, Sculpture Center, New York, 2009.
Elena Bajo received an MA in Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins School of Art, London (UK) in 2005 after obtaining a MA in Architecture from ESARQ, Barcelona in 2002. She was a co-founder of the temporary art project EXHIBITION, NY (2009). Her artist’s book With Entheogenic Intent (Burn the Witch) has been recently released, published by 18th Street Arts Center, Los Angeles, CA.
Timeless Considerations with Elena Bajo at Stacion - Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina is supported by Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Republic of Kosovo, Ministry of European Integrations of the Republic of Kosovo, Municipality of Prishtina, X-print, Ujë Rugove and DZG.