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English

Elena Bajo

Is music the essence of words?, 2010

Selected by Mathieu Copeland

Elena Bajo’s Is music the essence of words? was realised for her solo exhibition at Woodmill, London, in April-May 2010. This fragile assemblage of found canvass stretchers (very well selected pieces, shown for what they are!), is in itself an art of recuperation – the sine qua non of Bajo’s practice. Her work echoes a long history including, among many others, Gustav Metzger, who for a 1959 London exhibition hung on the walls cardboard television boxes he picked up in the street, to which he returned them once the show was over; Laurie Parsons, who for her 1988 solo show at the Lorence-Monk Gallery in NYC, collected and displayed detritus from the Hudson river bank, later disposed of; or Alan (Suicide) Vega, who for a solo show at OK Harris gallery in 1975 used found TVs and garbage, turned them into artworks and then took them back where he found them.

This piece’s title is an invitation to consider the fleeting nature of a word over a crystallised thought. As sculptures put together with fragile tape, these empty paintings (the canvas having been torn away from the stretchers), become both a very modernist form (squares on squares – a composition of voids) and an encouragement to reflect on the waste created by our society. Is music the essence of words? reminds us of an art industry where overproduction is the norm. It is a celebration of the transient nature of our lives, of the world that we inhabit, and of the detritus it constantly generates – through art temporally re-arranged.

Elena Bajo
Born Spain, 1976
Lives and works in New York and Berlin
www.elenabajo.com

IMAGE CREDITS

Elena Bajo, Is music the essence of words?, 2010 Disused stretchers Variable dimensions Installation view, The Woodmill, London

Elena Bajo, How is life treating you 2, 2006
Collage and acrylic on found painting
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine

Elena Bajo, Funes The Memorious, 2005
Arrangement of discarded objects in window display
Degree Show, Central Saint Martins, London

Elena Bajo, I´m looking for a title (detail), 2007
Found materials from previous exhibitions at the gallery, acrylic on discarded paintings and stretchers
Variable dimensions
Klara Wallner Galerie, Project Space, Berlin

Elena Bajo, Six Degrees of Separation, Study for Interfacing Practices, 2008
Acrylic overpainting found canvas, on reclaimed amateur paintings, fluorescent lights, tape, photographs

Elena Bajo, Untitled, 2007
Discarded bronze sculpture, silver tape, discarded paintings, acrylic on canvas
Open Studios, School of Visual Arts, NY

Elena Bajo, Resistance to non-existence, 2006
Public intervention
Discarded mattress and cardboard box
Madrid

Elena Bajo, High Tide, Low Tide, 2008
Ephemeral sculpture
Berlin lake, Berlin

Elena Bajo, The crystal of non-knowledge, a landscape to be invented, 2010
Copenhagen, DK

Français

Elena Bajo

Is music the essence of words?, 2010

Sélectionné par Mathieu Copeland

À l'occasion de son exposition personnelle à Woodmill (Londres, avril-mai 2010), Elena Bajo réalise Is music the essence of words?, un assemblage fragile de châssis trouvés par l'artiste (des morceaux très bien choisis et présentés pour ce qu’ils sont !). Condition sine qua none du travail de Bajo, l'art de la récupération est une référence inévitable de l'histoire de l'art : on pense notamment à Gustav Metzger qui, pour une exposition à Londres en 1959, accroche au mur des cartons d'emballages de télévision ramassés (puis remis) dans la rue une fois l'exposition terminée. Mais aussi à Laurie Parsons, qui collecte et expose des déchets trouvés au bord du fleuve Hudson pour son exposition personnelle en 1988 à la Lorence Monk Gallery à New York, pour ensuite s'en débarrasser ; ou encore à Alan (Suicide) Vega qui récupère de vieux téléviseurs et des poubelles pour les transformer en œuvre d'art et les ramener ensuite dans la rue à la fin de son exposition personnelle à la galerie OK Harris en 1975.

Le titre de l'œuvre invite à réfléchir aux possibles décalages entre la fragilité des mots et l'immuabilité de la pensée. Cette sculpture, tout aussi fragile, tient avec de petits bouts de scotch qui donnent à ces tableaux vides une apparence formelle très moderniste (carrés sur carrés – une composition de vides), tout en nous incitant à réfléchir aux déchets que produit notre société. Is music the essence of words? rappelle la façon dont la surproduction est devenue la norme de l'industrie artistique. Cette œuvre "ré-arrange" temporairement l'ordre des choses afin de célébrer la nature éphémère de notre quotidien et du monde dans lequel on vit et produit sans cesse des déchets.

Elena Bajo
Née en 1976, Espagne
Vit et travaille à New York et Berlin
www.elenabajo.com

IMAGE CREDITS

Elena Bajo, Is music the essence of words?, 2010 Disused stretchers Variable dimensions Installation view, The Woodmill, London

Elena Bajo, How is life treating you 2, 2006
Collage and acrylic on found painting
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine

Elena Bajo, Funes The Memorious, 2005
Arrangement of discarded objects in window display
Degree Show, Central Saint Martins, London

Elena Bajo, I´m looking for a title (detail), 2007
Found materials from previous exhibitions at the gallery, acrylic on discarded paintings and stretchers
Variable dimensions
Klara Wallner Galerie, Project Space, Berlin

Elena Bajo, Six Degrees of Separation, Study for Interfacing Practices, 2008
Acrylic overpainting found canvas, on reclaimed amateur paintings, fluorescent lights, tape, photographs

Elena Bajo, Untitled, 2007
Discarded bronze sculpture, silver tape, discarded paintings, acrylic on canvas
Open Studios, School of Visual Arts, NY

Elena Bajo, Resistance to non-existence, 2006
Public intervention
Discarded mattress and cardboard box
Madrid

Elena Bajo, High Tide, Low Tide, 2008
Ephemeral sculpture
Berlin lake, Berlin

Elena Bajo, The crystal of non-knowledge, a landscape to be invented, 2010
Copenhagen, DK

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