Exhibition Case: Paula Elion – Multiplied presence. 28 May–18 June 2021

Paula Elion, Upside down, coffee capsule, doll, gold paint, glue, 2021. Photo: Natalie Koski

Paula Elion – Multiplied presence. 28 May–18 June

Vernissage: Friday 28 May, 17–20
The artist will join us online from Tel Aviv at 18 to talk about her work.
Address: Grindsgatan 27, 118 57 Stockholm (T-bana Skanstull/Mariatorget)
The exhibition is on view on workdays 10–17 or by appointment at flat.octopus@gmail.com or 0728 49 29 89 (Alice), and can be seen from outside of the venue during those hours.


Multiplied presence

Sometimes things can feel lonely even if surrounded by other things. Paula Elion’s small figures made of readymade items and repurposed with a playful approach and experimental use of material have an air of solitude about them. Even though the dolls often appear in pairs or small groups they do not seem to find much solace in the company. They dive in, lean on and stumble over each other in attempts to find balance, use prosthetic tools or position themselves on jars and cans to help them bear the weight of their light-weighted existence. Though enclosed in the glass case, the figures are shrouded in a whiff of varnish that connects their smooth bodies to the initial studio process.

There are several overlapping motifs displayed at the same time and originating in different contexts. For instance, when she conjures the symbol of cacti, it draws meaning from its Latin American origins and its representation of both the Arab and Jewish habitants of her new/old homeland. In other works, playing with dolls symbolises what society expects from girls, as well as referencing religious and cultural myths and stories.

In Christian countries, these dolls can be used as Baby Jesus lying in the Christmas crib, while in Israel these same dolls represent baby Moses. By deconstructing and reconstructing the objects from their cultural structures and into new artistic forms we are invited to explore alternative interpretations of meaning.

The process of making the works is spontaneous and what makes it exciting is not knowing beforehand what the piece will look like at the end, highlighting the elements of experimentation and surprise.

Paula Elion is an Argentinean-Israeli artist working in Tel Aviv and Berlin. Elion graduated from the Midrasha School of Art, Beit Berl, Israel. She combines sculpting, painting and drawing techniques, using found materials such as old tablecloths and bedsheets, dolls, cardboard, wood, and glass, along with oil paints, acrylic, charcoal and markers. Her work explores universal conflicts and questions social rules and norms regarding family relationships, the female image in a patriarchal society, childhood, identity, migration, gender roles, and the relationship between humans and nature.

The Exhibition Case is a satellite exhibition project by Flat Octopus in collaboration with Crash Boom Bang. For information on how to apply to exhibit with us click HERE.