Elisa Bergel Melo One month after being known in that island

Elisa Bergel Melo (b. 1989) is a Venezuelan artist, originally from Caracas, who has lived in Boston, Barcelona, and Costa Rica, and now resides in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She studied photography at Roberto Mata Taller de Fotografía, in Caracas; at the New England School of Photography (NESoP); and then in Costa Rica at Veritas University, where she earned her BA in photography. Her work has been shown in the Wrong Biennale “Isn’t the World Just a Big Pyramid Scheme”; at Casa Quien, in Santo Domingo; and at the Beatríz Gil Gallery, in Caracas.

ON VIEW: Seasons and Final Form, 2020

ON VIEW: Seasons, 2020

ON VIEW: Final Form, 2020

Some experts from Brian Fee’s interview with Elisa Bergel Melo.

Q: How does your very particular sense of geography and place shape your practice and your concerns as an artist?

A: In my practice, I try to find patterns in how my behavior relates to the bigger scheme of things, for example my interaction with mobility, the internet, or my family archives. My interest in such behaviors comes from being an emigrant, a condition that grants me the privilege of constantly experiencing newness. I observe things in my daily life that the people around me are used to seeing. Being unhabituated, I am more apt to notice them. This includes both deep-rooted traditions and ordinary living solutions people create. I frequently contrast these unfamiliar practices with my way of thinking and appreciating. My artwork is an attempt to make sense of what it means to be a citizen of the world. Geography, people, and habitual activities are probably my biggest influences.

Q: One month after being known in that island features artists from all over the Caribbean. Do you think such a confluence will resonate in Basel? What do you hope the exhibition will achieve?

A: Given that I am the only artist in the exhibition born in Caracas, my goal is for my contribution to be as thought-provoking as possible. I know very little about the art scene in Basel, so it will be interesting to see what impact the exhibition has there. Whenever I take part in a cross-cultural effort between Europe and Latin America, my wish is for the discussion about our shared history to intensify. I think the subject matter of this exhibition serves that purpose perfectly.


To explore the other artists on view, click here.
To view the exhibtion One month after being known on that island, click here.

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