“The Wounded Wanderer”
a self portrait from my residency at La Becque, Switzerland (2019)
Photo credit: Paula Cermeno
Visitors can catch Elise Rasmussen in the exhibition, borderLINE: 2020 Biennial of Contemporary Art at your AGA from September 26, 2020 to January 3, 2021.
Featuring 38 artists and collectives across two provinces and five treaty territories, borderLINE calls attention to how borders are defined, who can enforce them, and what is confined by their limits.
borderLINE: 2020 Biennial of Contemporary Art is organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta and Remai Modern, and curated by Sandra Fraser, Felicia Gay, Franchesca Hebert-Spence and Lindsey Sharman. Presented by ATB Financial at the Art Gallery of Alberta.
What are the borders you are confronting with your work?
My work challenges the notion of borders, especially in this age where a heightened sense of political populism has taken hold. In my piece, I call attention to how what happens in one part of the world effects the other (in this case the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia and its affect in Europe).
If visitors want to know more about your work or the issues you are raising where should they go to learn more?
My work is part of a larger project “The Year Without a Summer” and from Sept 4- Oct 17 I also have a solo exhibition at Latitude 53 where a continuation of this project (a film and installation) is being shown. I would encourage people who are interested in my work and project to visit that. Should people be interested in learning more about the subject matter I suggest checking out Gillen D’Arcy’s book Tambora: The Eruption that Changed the World, and I encourage everyone to read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Has the pandemic affected your studio practice? Has it changed how you are thinking about your work, considering that the theme of the exhibition is borders?
As an artist who makes work that involves travel to another locale and immersion in a new environment that pandemic has greatly affected my studio practice as I have been forced to remain home. Luckily for this project most of the work was shot last year and I spent this year on the post-production (most of my projects take around 1-2 years from initial research to final exhibition). I also feel that the themes presented in the larger project have an eerie resonance to today. Much as Mary Shelley was forced to stay indoors on her summer sojourn to Lake Geneva due to the terrible weather (caused by Tambora’s eruption) we are all experiencing a similar moment of pause and staying put. The end result became the impetus for her writing her masterpiece Frankenstein which makes me consider that sometimes restrictions can result in significant works of art.