In July of 2013, a young male whale washed up on the shores of Terschelling, a northern island in the Netherlands. Researchers took a look inside of this unnaturally bloated whale to find two small flowerpots, a plastic spray canister, nine meters of ropes, two hosepipes, and over 37 pounds of plastic. Intestinal blockage was the cause of death. This death by blockage constituted the limit where live organic matter and manufactured inanimate matter become assimilated. The ontology of plastic as a thing and as an idea and the whale’s own evolutionary path were not commensurate. The whales stomach did not evolve to eat and degrade manufactured petroleum products. Its death underscored the false continuities and unassimilable views between manmade and natural life cycles.
Elena Bajo’s caste sculptures are riddled with the plastic and the fossil fuels that create them. They are folds incommensurably lodged in the very structure of the pure form of the cube and its nod to pure forms from which the cube emanates and which basic teleology emanates. That is to say that the lineage of objects to their Hellenic past has become a space of rupture folded upon itself in the way Deleuze and Leibniz understood it as a topological folding of the inside into the outside and vice versa. In doing so opposing differences and similarities become commensurate activating new conditions for truth and subjectivity. For the history of objects will never be the same in a world contaminated both objectively and linguistically.
For her second show at García galería Elena Bajo will be presenting two related body of Works. The video work, The Land is a Mirror of the Stars investigates, through both real propositions and imaginary speculations, the articulation of negative spaces left/inherited by post-Fordist capitalism’s social forms and now executed by neoliberal strategies. Mixed historical and literary texts, ethereal participatory elements and indigenous cosmologies. It proposes an extended exploration on global environmental, social and political issues as the base to address local, ancient knowledge, mythology, ethnobotany and cosmology. Using the words of honduran activist Berta Cáceres the video points at the consecuences of the destuction of the natural hábitats in the Amazonian Forest when describing the cycle that goes from the star constelations to the yearly harvest.
Also in the show her recent sculptures in which she mixes artificial materials such as plastic, urthane and aluminium in shapes and forms that break to show the interior. Perfect shapes appeard to be misfit and nature and artificial collide. Delicate surfaces constrast with misshapen cavities affecting the viwer perception and missguide and misslead the senses.
With Throwing car parts from a cliff before sunrise Bajo expands on her two previous projects include With Entheogenic Intent (Burn the Witch), LA 2014 which addressed the mythologies of american indigenous cultures and its global political resonance, and Isle of Innocence (After Fordlandia), Sao Paulo, Brazil 2015, a project that has as a point of departure the city of Fordlandia, built by Henry Ford in the middle of the Amazonian rain forest. These three projects constitute work of the Cosmic Distress Series, focused on the ecological impact of neoliberal economies.
Elena Bajo is co-initiator of the Los Angeles, CA collective D’CLUB (Divestment Club) engaged in fossil fuel divestment activities, and climate action. She 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 has taught and lectured at Goldsmith’s College, London; Rhode Island School of Design, RISD, Providence; and Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield; Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Sao Paulo, Brazil. Recent group shows Mardin Biennial, Turkey and Trust, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark. Bajo lives in Los Angeles and Berlin.