Elisa Strinna

Elisa Strinna (b. 1982, Padua) is an Italian multimedia artist based in the Netherlands who works with sculpture, video, sound, and performance. Her work investigates the interconnection between humanity, nature, and technology, developing a critique of the antropocene era. The connections between technological and geological landscapes, instantaneous and deep time, material and virtual realities, natural and artificial worlds are core themes of Strinna’s research. She creates microcosms, organic and mysterious atmospheres of enigmatic origin that reintroduce magic into our perception of nature.

In her hybrid worlds, it becomes difficult to draw a separation between natural and artificial, geological and human, spiritual and material. Strinna studies different infrastructures – from information to biotechnology – to explore the Western relationship to the environment. She is looking for ways to question the dominant logic that sees the planet as a collection of materials to be exploited endlessly. She creates spaces of wonder where the dominant binary logic of the rational mind fades.

Strinna’s work has been exhibited at Culturgest Porto (2020), Fidelidade Arte Museum (2019), Hong-gah Museum (2018), Giardini Greenhouse of the Venice Biennale (2015), MART Museum (2015), MAXXI Museum (2014), EACC Museum (2013), Taipei Biennial (2012), MACRO Museum (2011), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (2009) amongst others. She received an MFA in Visual Arts at IUAV (Venice, 2011) and a post-diploma in Documents and Contemporary Art at ÉESI (France, 2017). In 2018, Elisa Strinna was selected for the international residency programme at Jan Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht.

For Blind Sun, Strinna investigates and creates mysterious ecosystems in places between the sun and the oceanic abyss. What we refer to as the “cloud” in the digital world is in fact conducted on the ocean floor – a transatlantic fiber-optic network that supports a global information transmission system. A submerged landscape, hardly reachable for the human eye or logic. Under the influence of the abyss reveals a new, hybrid territory where artificial and natural merge. In this space, the undersea cables lose their industrial design to become one with the sea anemones and sponges. These creatures have been discovered to accompany the fibers, even when those are buried under the sea sand as if they were attracted by the electromagnetic fields.

Blind Sun suggests organic and geological environments, while at a closer look they might seem foreign. It is almost as if the artist was setting up a dream about the origins of the world, or enacting a microcosm where the symbiosis of living entities is brought to light. Poetically, Blind Sun bridges together technology, humanity and nature, accepting the unknown as a founding component of existence.

Elisa Strinna brings together material forms whose temporality is undetermined. Her sculptures resemble odd fossils and primitive, ancient biological species; at the same time, they cohabitate with modern-day technology. One of the ecosystems is called the “Hadean Territory”, metaphorically referring to the Hadean period: the era when the solar system was forming within a cloud of dust and gas, an enigmatic period for science till this day. In Blind Sun, that period is as mysterious as the bottom of the ocean – both are spaces that human ingenuity cannot reach. This project has been previously exhibited at the Jan Van Eyck Open Studios (2019, NL), Fidelidade Arte (2019, PT), Culturgest Porto (2020, PT), and at A Tale of a Tub (2021, NL).

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