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Elena Helfrecht

Disembodiment. 2020

Size: 100.0 x 67.0 cm

Regular price €4,000.00 EUR
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Limited edition set. Edition of 3+2AP.

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60x40cm, Edition of 5+2AP. Price 2,150

“Something unreal seeps into the reality of the recollections that are on the borderline between our own personal history and an indefinite pre-history, in the exact place, where, after us, the childhood home comes to life in us […] [I]magination, memory and perception exchange functions.

The image is created through co-operation between real and unreal.”

— Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

Following her grandmother’s death, Helfrecht returned to her family estate in Bavaria, which became the backdrop for the photographic series ‘Plexus’. By immersing herself in this environment, she developed a photographic case study based on still lifes. The imagery emerged from inherited trauma and post-memory, and exploring the family as an essential contributor to psychological and cultural processes across history. 

In this process of examining the fragmentary history of her female lineage, the term ‘re-membering’ becomes literal. Dreams, associations, and imagined scenes fill in the gaps in the artist’s story to create a narrative that transgresses personal and national boundaries. In ‘Plexus’, the objects and the architecture of the house become parabolic proxies that open a gateway between the past and present. 

The photographs in ‘Plexus’ represent the artist’s search for historical reoccurrences, echoing her own repetition of her mother’s and grandmother’s behavior. By confronting one’s past spanning across four generations, a renewed sense of identity provides ground for a detailed investigation of post-memory, mental health, war, and history.

Elena Helfrecht- Conversations, 2017 (Plexus series)


Elena Helfrecht

Elena Helfrecht- Sanctuary, 2021. Detail

Elena Helfrecht is a German visual artist working in the medium of photography.  Her practice revolves around exploring the inner space and the phenomena of consciousness.