Rovigo, March 30th 2020
Elisa Bertaglia

Where.

Where is way more important than what it seems, and it is not easy for me to give a precise 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 few years I have been travelling a lot in Europe, China, Japan and United Stated; since 2015 I have decided to spend six months a year in New York to focus on my experimentation and artistic research.

Thinking about 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 in 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.

Surely with a symbolic and oneiric language. These are abused words, I know, but I could not describe the tool of my research better: an eclectic, coherent, free narration, full of metamorphosis, enigmas as well as 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 just 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.

To be honest the answer to the question when? is a little bit confused too. My dearest memories 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. Afterwards, an algid pause has divided the little-me from my life today; I attended the scientific high school, an education I reckon as essential for me. Then I finally decided to enrol at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice.

Why.

Because yes! It should not be an answer, 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 that was the case, I would not be as happy as I am today. I have a wonderful family that have 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 recklessness to do it again, again, again.

This post is also available in: Italian