ELYSIA IS A PHYSICAL ARTIST. HER DOMAIN IS THE BODY, THE EROTIC BODY – NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THE KEY ROLE PLAYED BY THE NUDE IN HER PRODUCTION, IN SCULPTURE AS IN DRAWING, but because she always stars from physical contact, a confrontation, a hand-to-hand fight with matter (it is no chance that her media of choice are sculpture and ceramic), in order to transcend the body itself and attain an absolute dimension, what she calls the essence of sentiment.
Her creative process involves a series of stages, levels that must be cleared in order to arrive, from raw matter, to the visualization of the original image/feeling that prompted the creative act. It is the essence of an emotion taking the form of a physical body – subtle and ethereal, but not frail. It is not easy at all to convert a thick, hard material into the image of an ethereal body, so Elysia’s art also conveys a sense of limit, which manifests itself in the physical act of art making: «Living your body means (…) discovering both your weakness, and the tragic, unrelenting slavery of your own flaws, deterioration and precariousness. It also (…) means becoming aware of your ghosts (…) The body (and its gestures) is an all-round writing, a system of signs which represent, or translate the infinite search for the other» (Gina Pane) Everything Elysia says, all the ideas she has, is the result of something she has experienced within and upon her body, personally, with effort, sometimes with distress and suffering, as in the making of the casts for the Release series. Elysia tests the limits of the body, and in this she is, more than anything else, a body artist. She does not conceive of any distinction between body and soul – the body is the soul, and viceversa. There is no separation between her body and the works she creates, which become a sort of extension of it, of her self, as the exteriorization of a self-perception. Elysia is also a sentant, a psychic, as it were – she starts from an intuitive feeling, and lets herself be guided by it throughout the creative process. She gropes her way through darkness, until all of a sudden a door opens. Elysia does not reject intellect, only her intelligence is not conceptual, or theoretical: it is the intuitive cleverness of the body. A clever body. Intimacy, the artist explains, plays an essential role in the process that allows her to arrive at the essence of sentiment: “working for yourself, and not for an exhibition, allows you to go about your work in a more carefree and pure way, with least possible conditioning or expectation.” Art as self-knowledge, then, as a way to get to know oneself better. All of Elysia’s sculpture is a self-portrait – even when she portrays someone else, for instance in drawings, what she does is basically mirror herself in others. She does not search for objectivity: her representations are always strongly filtered by her perception and state of mind. “These images are then used and manipulated with other tools, in the effort to express the same feeling. Everything becomes one.” The idea is to create synergy among different modes of expression: drawing, photography and sculpture reinforce and mirror each other in the effort to achieve the expressive goal. The languages that Elysia employs show a basic unity beyond their specific qualities. The aesthetic of Elysia, which revolves around the notion of fragment, of empty and full, inside and outside, and of the artwork as the product of contingent events, of specific situations and sensations, is independent of which mode of expression she uses, it crosses language borders, as it can be applied to all and each language.
ELYSIA IS A PHYSICAL ARTIST. HER DOMAIN IS THE BODY, THE EROTIC BODY – NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THE KEY ROLE PLAYED BY THE NUDE IN HER PRODUCTION, IN SCULPTURE AS IN DRAWING,