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Pipes, tubes, conduits and cables carry endless streams of data from one side of the world to the other. Invisible bytes and numbers set things in motion from afar, translating into information and knowledge. It is the magic of the invisible, the domain of the unknown in our functional, rational world.

The systems of cables crawl across ocean beds in gigantic webs, threading their way through walls, disappearing into ceilings and diving back underground. They constitute realms in their own right, even while exposed to the forces of the world around them. Gravity, magnetism, electricity, air conditions and light influence them, in the same way as crystal growth may be affected by gravity and magnetic fields (after all, perfect crystals grow only in zero gravity).

What these influences can bring about, and how they do so, are an area of intense interest to Elisa Strinna. Fascinated by the ever changing and interacting structures and processes, she embodies them in robust yet subtle sculptures of fired porcelain. She uses fireworks to break the porcelain open, thereby exposing a hidden interior of proliferating floral tendrils, like near-mythical entrails spilling from the ruptured body. These resemble living organisms in their own right, secretive and unknown, fed by invisible (and perhaps primal) data. Together they make up a landscape from millions of years past, or from a distant future, threaded through by the cables and conduits of the present.

(text by Lex ter Braak, Open Studios Jan Van Eyck Academie)

"Hadean Stories" took its references to the eon when the planet earth began to form. The name Hadean derives from Hades, the Greek god of the underworld. But Hadean might be read as well as a reminiscence of a mythical interpretation of the origin. Nowadays, for many cultures, western science has affirmed itself as the discipline coming closest to the understanding of the cosmos. In such a realm, the unknown is conceived as something not yet discovered. But, despite the effort, the mystery of "the origin" is  still undisclosed. It remains a place of conjectures and enigmas, where the language of science and imagination coexist, and "truth" reveals itself as speculation. The Haden territory is, therefore, a place of mystery, of contemplation, where to encounter the unseen.

Hadean Stories, plastic and liquid porcelain, porcelain plaster, copper, aluminum crystals, raw porcelain, 2019, dimension about 6 x 6 meters; photos by Romy Finke, Jan Van Eyck Open Studios, Maastricht, the Netherlands

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