W(e)ave, 2007. Chenille bedspread, metal staples, drywall, and plywood, 104 x 120 x 8 in. Photo: Cathy Carver

Dislocations: A Conversation with Elana Herzog

Elana Herzog’s work explores how civilizations merge, overlap, and sometimes become as threadbare as a piece of cloth. Her practice involves subtraction and addition, deconstructing everyday materials then adding patterns, staple tracks, and other gestures to create uniquely tactile objects. With a keen eye for symbols, patterns, and motifs, Herzog juxtaposes, layers, and embroiders surfaces that range from ugly to beautiful. Her work captures the ebb and flow of cultural transformation, as people, plants, and artifacts migrate. Like Yinka Shonibare’s “African” cloth manufactured in Europe and Joan Jonas’s layered sounds, people, and objects that mean different things at once, Herzog’s hybridized rematerializations delve into the cultural unconscious, excavating and restoring meanings that have been lost, forgotten, or altered beyond recognition.

Jan Garden Castro: Could you discuss the four curtain-like works that you created last year at Wave Hill?
Elana Herzog: The work I did during my Winter Workspace Residency at Wave Hill allowed me to bring together my experience as a gardener and my interests as an artist . . .

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