My work is a series of installations that deals with identity and memory, and the blurred boundaries between fiction and reality when talking about the past. As a child of an immigrant family, I grew up hearing stories from relatives about the past and learning how to preserve tradition. My identity is formed from all these stories that I never lived.
With my art I search in my roots and my identity. Mixing traditional art techniques (such as engraving) with new materials and installations as a way of showing my points of view about history. I’ve always perceived the different historical periods as wrapped in layers, containing one another. Ending in a present result of the superimposing of layers as a nonlinear storyline. This storyline neither goes forward or backwards, instead it mutates, changes ad infinitum.
Throughout this perception, the photographic images intervene, acrylic layers are carved at drypoint, words once written on an old wall or from songs echoes still within my creations.
The carving process as a way to record and remember. The details become important and create new possible universes. As it happens with memory, it’s an insistent way of trying not to forget in order to understand where do we come from and to where we can decide to go.
Elian Stolarsky was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and received her MFA with Honors in Installation and Graphics from the KASK Conservatorium, Belgium. Stolarksy has since completed several residencies in Europe, South America, and the US, including Casa de Velazquez in Spain, Cité Internationale des arts in Paris, and Elefante Centro Cultural in Brazil. She won the Asylum Arts Grant two years in a row, was selected for the 56 Salón Nacional Jose Gamarra de Artes Visuales in 2014, and received the Paul Cezanne First Prize by unanimous decision in 2013. She has exhibited, both solo and in groups, throughout the US, South America, and Europe.