Interviews | June 16, 2021 |

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Image courtesy of Eliesh

Interview: Eliesh
Luca Curci
talks with Eliesh during VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021 at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.

Eliesh is a performer philosopher, experimentalist, mover, student, architect, lecturer, and sustainability activist. Over the past years, he merged his background of studies and the experiences he achieved. Such merge helped him to reinvent himself, continuously looking from different perspectives, embracing innovative approaches and processes in experimenting and teaching bio-mimic, and to research and learn from nature observation, implementing urban transformation via interactive artistic sustainable installations, etc. In his artistic interventions, he situates the body (presence or absence) and its senses in the center of his pieces; he seeks to respond to actual challenges using experimentation and engaging different forms of processes and multilayers of tools (bodies, movement, sounds, imagination, storytelling, public spaces, abandoned buildings, stages, etc.). His art, work and interventions focus on sustainable participatory transformation embracing a global citizenship approach while diminishing different forms of borders.

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Image courtesy of Eliesh

Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Eliesh –
Aside from a new series of #Bodytalk, which focuses on the embrace and its intensity in between people who were prevented to meet or never met, I am working on a large-scale intervention entitled “Recycling Shells’’. It is an interactive performing art installation that aims to recycle iconic cultural and abandoned mansions, in Berlin and Beirut, via an act of sustainability and storytelling that engages people’s minds and behaviors, and that projects a political-social reconciliation with the past in order to venture into a future sustainable urban transformation. It revives momentarily the shell, shed the light on its story and helps the visitors discover its physical forms and architecture. The project is driven by interactive performing art that functions in a loop (1 hour per group) and usage physical, digital and sound installations to stimulate the attendee’s different senses. Following the experimental tour, the visitors are invited to a participatory discussion to construct and imagine the way forward on how to rebuild a sustainable, coexistent, viable and pandemic-proof neighborhood landscape.

LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
E –
It’s sort of natural evolution. I am a multidisciplinary person who tries to continuously interconnect layers, fields and perspectives. When looking at my work you can find a variety of themes, tools, and processes; however, they all join forces in responding to actual challenges, rather than simply producing art. #Bodytalk, is a response to the pandemic, to its impact on me and my surrounding. Using my body as a center stage and as a tool to generate pieces is the result of the effort I made to stay self-centered and continuously in my skin; a skin that was used to transmit, with the help of paint, my experiences, encounters, and stories to be told. This epoch of fear disturbed bodies and souls’ presence and absence patterns. Such disturbance needed to be balanced instantly by empowering oneself, telling our stories and expressing our emotions (in case it exists).

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Image courtesy of Eliesh

LC – Where do you find your inspiration? 
E –
From almost Anything and Nothing. I am driven by finding solutions to the actual issues facing humanity, constantly experimenting in my life, and observing and learning from nature’s growth and systems. Combining the outcome of these three acts while looking at things from another perspective generates my main inspiration in creating arts. I avoid living in a mainstream system in order to reduce direct and indirect injected borders by our societies. In #Bodytalk, an additional layer inspired me to produce this form of art; a person, an unconventional experience that proved to be a border breaker during an era of confinement.

LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
E –
To me, Art is an act of activism, a form of communication to make sustainable impacts. I want my art to inspire concrete changes, via the incubated ideas, processes, stories & used materials.

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Image courtesy of Eliesh

LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
E –
I believe that the majority of the time my interest in addressing a specific topic comes from the thorough analysis and reasoned thinking of the actual challenges we are witnessing. Once the decision to address a challenge is taken, the Arts creation is driven by a blended strategy, combining reasoned and instinctive processes.

LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
E –
The first Art work of #Bodytalk, entitled “La Pomme’’, was produced to keep a trace of the story it tells and which is an outcome of the Pandemic period. I learned a lot from the first example which was achieved on a building wall. The process itself and the Art outcome were completely aligned with the Venice Art Fair. However, I decided not to propose it first because it will be exhibited digitally, thus the energy, details and character will be missed, and then because I prefer to create a new and more directed work for the call. Therefore, I produced another piece (#Bodytalk – Seeking for a shell) made on 50-years-old linen, in order to exhibit it physically, and have it completely aligned with the exhibition core theme.

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Image courtesy of Eliesh

LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
E –
I am thankful to have people like you continuously promoting art and its importance in our daily life. To me, we are all artists, and opening the space to all is highly appreciated. The theme of the festival which analyses the relationship between body and space brings food for thoughts and made me reflect, assess, rethink, create, and develop new forms of responses and communications.

LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
E –
Of course I suggest collaboration with you, in fact, I already did. I look forward to seeing other colleagues’ work exhibited. When it comes to services, I can say that it was as promised and suggested. Therefore again thank you for your continuous kind follow-up, friendly communication, and for always being there when necessary.

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Image courtesy of Eliesh

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us? 
E –
I am not the ideal person to ask about ‘enjoy’ as I still struggle with its meaning; it’s a form of existential approach I go through. But I am thankful for this cooperation, and I am sure it would have been way more experimental if I got the chance to make it in person for the opening.

LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
E –
I believe each artist is unique, some artists might require something, and others might be in need of something else. However, I trust that the majority would be in favor of exposing artists and their work to communities that do not visit galleries, museums or artistic events. Enlarging the circle would be an embracing expansion for art that brings success to galleries, artists, and communities.

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Image courtesy of Eliesh

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