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Elisa Caldana

Elisa Caldana, Monumento alle vie inesistenti, 2019
iron, powder paint
300x300x200 cm
ph. credits: GC / Palinsesti 2019

The artistic research of Elisa Caldana (Pordenone, 1986) extends throughout contemporaneity in terms of the broad range of techniques and materials with which she experiments, as well as the places for which she conceives her art. It aims to investigate social and political contradictions as well as the paradoxes caused by several actions and points of view. Her artworks are based on real, historical and personal events; however, the presence of a more abstract and imaginative dimension is what makes them unique and leaves room for more general and wider considerations.

Caldana’s artworks are generated by the melding of opposites: fiction and reality, actual events and pure imagination. This contrast is what makes her works of art so thought-provoking and allows the audience to think in a more critical way. Her works are characterized by thorough precision and formal synthesis, stemming from the complex research undertaken for each piece. The artist resorts to a variety of media such as sculpture, performance, cinema and writing. Some of the recurring themes of her research are architecture, public space, the monument, collective identity, home and one’s sense of belonging to a place.

Monumento alle Vie Inesistenti

This idea of monument celebrates the fictitious streets invented by the Italian public administration as a bureaucratic stratagem. In fact, the title of the project means ‘Monument to Nonexistent Streets’ and alludes to the Italian law according to which every city within the national territory can invent a fake street. These streets are not real but only exist as names in order to give a permanent address to homeless people. In this way, these citizens are given access to fundamental rights such as voting and the right to receive medical assistance.

The monument celebrates the law’s poetic inventiveness and its ability to resolve certain matters by finding a loophole in the system, as with the invention of fictitious streets. The monument consists of the abstract shape of a single street intertwined with itself and sustained by a support structure. The names of the 211 nonexistent Italian streets, drawn from the national list, are engraved along this ‘route’.

The made-up streets form an invisible geography parallel to that of the cities to which they belong. San Vito al Tagliamento has its own fictitious street that will be also engraved on the monument: its name is via del Girovagare, which in Italian means ‘wandering’.

Elisa Caldana