Liisi Eelmaa -2


21.11.2018-05.01.2019  Krank Art Gallery, Le Meridien Istanbul Etiler.

In Liisi Eelmaa’s exhibition “I invent you I invent myself”, her paintings, composed of a colour harmony that is executed through an immaculate gesture, are accompanied by her installations consisting of resin and aluminium.

Almost originating from vibrations in the human soul, the colours in this harmony also pronounce the sounds so profoundly that it makes us think that the artist was aiming to apply the methods of music to her own artistic practice. The rhythm in her works, the tendency towards using colours repeatedly, and the desire to set colours in motion also originate from this condition. The artist has opted for creating an intelligible language of colour and line, much like the language of sound and rhythm, without resorting to natural form or representation.

Present as a vague mass, paint is merely a mixture of colourant, pigment, binder and filler that will soon be transformed into an image. The moment of this transformation is what the artist finds most intriguing. Considering the first patch of colour, the beginning of any painting is abstract. The objective of Liisi is to emphasize the endeavour of creating something out of a patch of paint that is intrinsically abstract. And this equates the viewer with the artist as the creator of the image, providing both with the chance of entering into each other’s realm through their imaginative contribution.

Even if one fails to recall the effect of the colours when they move their eyes away, the peripheral impression created by different colours becomes the starting point of a series of sensations. Each colour creates its own distinct spiritual vibration. These “fragrant colours” of Liisi Eelmaa stimulate the sense of touch as much as the sense of smell. With their satiny texture, the colours arouse an impulse to touch. And the installations of the artist respond to this desire.

In the four paintings included in the exhibition, Liisi Eelmaa has placed parts of the body amongst her harmonic gestures. The vitality of the body is not a result of the combination of its parts. A human body acquires its vitality when a certain convergence, some kind of encounter occurs between the viewer and the viewed, the toucher and the touched, between one eye and the other. Nature, on the other hand, with all its layers, with its attributes, as light, colour, depth, is only present when it generates a resonance in our body, and when these are acknowledged by our body. The artist’s harmonic gestures and the accompanying body parts are nothing more than her absorbed in the riddle of abstract or figurative visibility. The painter’s eye sees the world. It sees the missing piece in the world in terms of a painting, the colour on the palette that the painting calls for, and the painting that would be an answer to the lack of all these when it is finalised.

The painting and photograph that form the starting point of the installations are the constituent parts of the artistic practice of Estonian artist Liisi Elma; she often combines and mixes photographs and paintings in her works. In merging two different mediums, she often contemplates the limits of painting; questioning how we perceive paint as a substance, and when this substance starts to become an image. She examines whether painting could or could not be a medium for describing things that do not exist, and explores how a photograph allows presenting things that already exist.

“Since the times of cave paintings people have depicted a better life – better than the one at hand. Creating an image was supposed to fulfil a wish. While observing the timeline between the cave era and today’s world, we can see imagination coming to life to the fullest. Everything that we have now has been gained thanks to the imagination of our ancestors. What will come in the future is created right now”, says Liisi Eelmaa, whose works originate from – but not a mirror of – the realities pertaining to her era, and they embody a profound and potent power that reflects the future.

Sibel Erdamar