Butterflies in the Stomach, 2008. Preserved caul fat, plastic, and sound. 2500 x 1000 x 400 cm

Material Splendor: A Conversation with Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva

Finding rats in the gallery is not usually cause for celebration at an art opening, but such was the case for Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva’s installation Silentio Pathologia (2013) at the Macedonian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale. Hadzi-Vasileva has been pushing the boundaries of unusual art “materials” for some time, using salmon and chicken skins, silk worm cocoons, upside-down trees, as well as pig and cow stomachs. Her exploration of what she calls the hidden, the rejected, and the thrown-away contrasts, or integrates, with equally unusual sites, including Gloucester Cathedral, Berwick Gymnasium, and New Forest in the United Kingdom. The result is a range of magical, disturbing, and richly layered works with an aesthetic resonance. Hadzi-Vasileva’s background—she moved to the U.K. from Macedonia at the age of 15—forms an important contextual grounding for her work… see the entire article in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.