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Elsa Leo

“(…) at the still point, there the dance is” (T.S. Eliot) 

A chimney. A vessel. A downpipe. 

In my practice, I take an interest in architectural elements and objects of everyday life. They are details in the urban environment that have or used to have a practical function, but that often go unnoticed. Still, to me, they have a beauty and sense of self-containment about them.  

My preoccupation with space started out with me building models of nonexistent houses, in an undefined, unornamented architectural style. I then focused more on infrastructures for waiting. I saw them as passages, in-between spaces, that I explored: bus stops, benches, balconies, bridges, and a waiting room at a cemetery. After that, I have increasingly zoomed in on more detailed architectural elements, such as roof tiles or a metal hatch on a facade.  

Throughout these works, I am looking for objects that give a sensation of being in interstitial spaces. They form openings or divisions that indicate an outside and an inside, an in front and a behind, or entities like containers or shells that hold something. Some open up to the viewer, while others are more closed and unavailable. I am drawn to their mysteriousness.  

These objects evoke a certain stillness or emptiness in me that is melancholic and joyful at once. They give me a sense of getting close to something existential. At the core of what I do I believe I am searching for a pause – a place of rest – from the bustling and intrusive world around me. But I want this place, my works, to be vibrant and full of life, in the midst of stillness. 

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