Elena Damiani’s project forms part of the curatorial program Southern Outdoors, which starts out from the idea of the interstice as a chasm that mediates two parts of a single body. It operates on the basis of the possibility of connecting the inside and outside of the museum, and for this reason proposes that the artistic interventions take place on the terraces and in the courtyards.
The installation Sediments: an assemblage of remains is presented as a space-time interlude. Comprising two travertine sculptures that allude to the discontinuous nature of time and the appearance of liminal spaces within it, Damiani reveals the interstices contained in the material itself. These fissures – hiatuses or lacunae in geological time – are the points of critical interest, as they represent the evidence of ruptures, filtrations and discordances, factors that subtly suggest the existence of a “lost time.”
Such voids are where a space is formulated for questioning the continuity and stability of what we understand as space-time. Nevertheless, it is believed that time helps to reveal the essence of things: the appearance of an illustration whose edges have been touched by many hands, the darkened hue of a tree trunk or the roughness of a stone are silent witnesses to the fact that their material composition contains a series of layers of information that represent the passage of time.
The first sculpture is a series of 34 prisms carved from travertine, cut along the natural grain of the stone. This cut reveals the different layers of sedimentation that are characteristic of the composition of this material. Each one is placed alongside the next in sequence on the wall, recomposing the stone’s original pattern of stratification, interrupted by a layer of transparent resin.
The second sculpture is formed by two slabs of travertine laid on the ground that have been cut along the grain and rotated around one of their vertices until they merge with each other. The area where they overlap is replaced by a mirror of the same thickness, in such a manner that the stratigraphic layers appear as a mirror.
Taken as a whole, the installation refers to dialectics of linearity, rupture, and juxtaposition, of the flat surface and the volume, of inside and outside; signaling the potential of the materials to retain and deploy information or allow it to filter through the gaps in the segmented surfaces. Damiani incorporates resin and glass into the fractures in the travertine, emphasizing the abrupt intrusion of foreign elements into the natural sediments, and thereby generating small gaps or parenthesis that expose a series of breaks in the continuity of the morphological composition of the stone. The artist expands the possibilities of the collage as a medium for sculpture and installation work, presenting a dialectical tension between the whole and its parts, where the composition of the works laid out in the space indicate the fragmentary nature of the collage by means of the overlapping segments and layers that are presented as a new whole.