The Entire Earth Around, 2021. Parquet floor cast in concrete and ashes, and burnt timber, installation view. Photo: © Nika Neelova, Courtesy Parafin, London

Continuous Return: A Conversation with Nika Neelova

London-based Nika Neelova excavates new perspectives from found objects and reclaimed architectural materials, transforming them into intriguing forms filled with memories and echoes of history. Examining and re-presenting ordinary things from a multitude of angles—including their substance and origins, as well as their changing relationships with the human and geological landscape—her sculptures and installations present “archaeology in real time” in terms of form and process. Reconfigured stair rails, which once guided human movement through space, and casts of old pipes created from silt and sediment become new kinds of conduits and alternate systems of flow, linking past and present and crossing timelines—all in relation to the body. From humans and buildings to humans and buildings and earth—but with the human removed—Neelova’s work offers glimpses into systems still in process, undoing in order to redo and uncovering buried entanglements in categories along the way.

Robert Preece: SILT (2021–22), your recent installation at Brighton CCA, explored different levels of time—human and geological—and implied parallels across different kinds of conduits—veins in the body, architectural pipework, and rivers running across the earth. Could you describe the thinking behind your landscape of cast pipes?
Nika Neelova: Silt is a solid, dust-like sediment made up of rock and mineral particles; it is transported
and deposited by water, ice, and wind. It’s a body without beginning or end, carried by various flows across waterways and landscapes, crossing huge geographical and geological expanses. . .

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