Installation view

Elena Damiani »Mineral Ways«

Stockholm , November 11, 2022 - December 17, 2022

The exhibition Mineral Ways at Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm is the second part of a project that began during the pandemic and whose first part was presented at the MAC Museum of Contemporary Art Lima June 2022.

The project takes as a starting point an illustrated plate from "Thoughts on a Pebble, or, A First Lesson in Geology” from 1849 by Gideon Mantell, where the English geologist sought to give answers about the history physics of the planet and a first approach to the concepts of modern geology to his 5-year-old son, after finding a small stone next to a stream. The illustration shows a round pebble containing various fossils, markings, and sediments, which is a fragment of a much larger mass that has been transported from a distance to where it was found. Mantell describes throughout the short book a universe contained in the little stone. The observation of a simple rock fragment allows us to discover traces of intense generative and destructive processes that remain inscribed in matter, articulating an image of the composition of the natural world and of life forms now extinct.

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For this exhibition Damiani's work focuses on the materiality of the Earth, and reflects on matter itself from geological materials such as marble, travertine, mineral formations and fossils, and the characteristics that link them to the processes and workings of the planet, from its thin and ever-changing surface, to the entire underground extension composed of a combination of solid and porous media, which remain unconsolidated. Her work explores different media, sculpture, collage, painting, as multidisciplinary strategies that allow it to be linked with the sciences that study the geology of the Earth, and its related branches, such as stratigraphy, mineralogy, paleontology or sedimentology.

Mineral ways brings together a set of new sculptures and works on paper that outline different ways of questioning our understanding of the processes of creation, the temporality and solidity of objects, and the notion of the vitality of the matter that makes up the Earth. At the same time, the works aim to suggest the problem of referring to inorganic matter as something non-vital and foreign to human beings. 

Elena Damiani was born in 1979 in Lima, Peru, where she currently lives and works. Damiani has participated in multiple international biennales, including the Cuenca Biennial (2018, 2016), Gwangju Biennale (2016), the Venice Biennale, Vienna Biennale and IV Poly/Graphic Triennial (all 2015). Solo exhibitions include MAC, Lima (2022), Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA (2017), Museo Amparo, Puebla (2016), Mexico City and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (both 2015). Her works have been exhibited at MUAC Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow and MOCAD Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (all 2015), BIM Bienal de la Imagen y Movimiento, Buenos Aires (2014), Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, MAC Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Lima (both 2013), Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia, Valencia (2009), MAMBA Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires and IVAM Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Valencia (both 2007) and Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn (2006). She was awarded the Grants & Commissions Program, Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation CIFO, Miami, USA (2016) and the commission for the David Rockefeller Atrium, Americas Society, New York (2014). Her work is represented in the collections of MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, MALI Museo de Arte de Lima, GNAM Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Museo Tamayo, Kadist Art Foundation, Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Schoepflin Foundation and FOLA Fototeca Latinoamericana.

Installation view

Mineral cell II, 2022, marble, travertine, quartzite and granite slabs, cast bronze frame, 188 x 135 x 59.6 cm

As the dust unsettles VII, 2022, framed watercolour on handmade Lokta paper, on canvas, 136 x 106 cm, 161 x 128 cm framed

As the dust unsettles VIII, 2022, framed watercolour on handmade Lokta paper, on canvas, 136 x 106 cm, 161 x 128 cm framed

Installation view

Elena Damiani, Filters II N.3, 2022, Green forest marble, steel, brass, 110 x 80 x 2 cm

Installation view

Filters II N.5, 2022, Iron red granite, steel, brass, 110 x 80 x 2 cm

Filters II N.1, 2022, Crater Fantasia travertine, steel, brass, 110 x 80 x 2 cm

Filters II N.2, 2022, Verde mare marble, steel, brass, 110 x 80 x 2 cm

Filters II N.4, 2022, Sahara Noir marble, steel, brass, 110 x 80 x 2 cm

Installation view

The Erratic Marbles VI, 2022, framed inkjet print on cotton paper and alpha-cellulose paper, series of 18 collages, 34 x 25 cm each , 45.5 x 34.5 x 3.5 cm each framed

Installation view

Testigos IV, 2022, hand-carved and polished Crater Fantasia travertine, stainless steel, 91 x 133.5 x 5.5 cm

Testigos IV, 2022, detail