Rovigo, March 30th 2020

Where.

Where is way more important than what it seems, and it is not easy for me to give an exact answer. As everybody else, now I am in quarantine, spending these days at home in my artist studio in Rovigo, Italy. But before this situation, to the question where?, I would have answered “here and there”. In the last years I traveled a lot among Europe, China, Japan and United Stated; since 2015 I decided to spend six months a year in New York to focus on my experimentation and artistic research.

Thinking to the beginning instead, the where of the origin is Crespino, a small town along the river Po, a where immersed in the mud under the ghost-trees of the floodplain. A place rich of myths and legends, full of beauty and oxymora, stories and both intimate and collective memories. Since the beginning these memories have been the essential nourishment for my work and my research.

How.

Absolutely with a symbolic and oneiric language. These are abused words, I know, but I could not describe better the tool of my research: an eclectic, coherent, free narration, full of metamorphosis, enigmas and artistic, literary, cinematographic, historical and scientific influences. Luc Tuymans, Matthew Barney, Hao Liang; Peter Handke, Han Kang, Cornelius Eady; Patrice Leconte, Bernardo Bertolucci, Kim Ki-duk; Liliana Segre, Lea Vergine, Luca Bindi.

I started only drawing on paper sheets, but year after year the experimentation and the research – in my opinion the two most important things for an artist – brought me to develop paintings, installations, sculptures and site-specific projects with several and unusual materials. I worked with canvas and silk, ceramic and cement, polyester and bones.

When.

Telling the truth the question when? is a little bit confused. The most remarkable and sweet memories I have are the ones when I was at my grandmother’s house, sitting on a tiny wood table while drawing fantastic characters and absurd dresses on old diaries. After that, an algid pause divided the little-me from my life today; I attended the scientific college, an education that has been essential for me. Then I finally decided to attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, since that moment everything started.

Why.

Because so it is! I should not answer like that, but I am like this and I love what I do. I do not think that I could not do anything else in my life; everybody, if forced, could do different jobs, but if so, I would not be as happy as I am today. I have a wonderful family that understood and supported me. I have a lovely husband – an artist as well – with whom I share everything. I still have the curiosity to chase new things; the dissatisfaction that does not make me fulfilled; the restlessness to throw myself into a new journey; the desire to overtake both every big obstacle and every small achievement; and the unconsciousness to pursuing it again, again, again.

Elisa Bertaglia

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