07 february 2020

you will see colours that are happy. elisa vladilo. environmental works 1995-2019

extended until 4 March

Elisa Vladilo, My favourite place, Molo Audace, 2007 (courtesy by the artist) 


A solo show by Elisa Vladilo on display from 8 February to 1 March 2020 in Trieste, at Palazzo Costanzi (piazza Piccola 2). Opening: Friday 7 February 2020, 6 pm

You will see colours that are happy.
Elisa Vladilo. Environmental works 1995-2019

Colour has always represented the hallmark of Elisa Vladilo’ research, based on interventions in the landscape, urban spaces and indoor since the mid-Nineties. Favouring pure colour and bright shades of pink, yellow, orange, green and blue, the artist has defined a personal chromatic range to alter or highlight the characteristics of the space, changing its perception and use. The colours Elisa Vladilo has chosen do not belong to the history of the urban project. Rather, they refer to playful chromatic dimensions that introduce moments of magical, playful, fairytale-like suspension in the landscape and the city. The vibrant colours endow the space with an unprecedented communicative potential. They switch it on. Elisa Vladilo proposes a grammar of colour intentionally accessible and direct. Its communicative power is immediately understood. It is a language that can be shared by all, apparently basic and essential.

“The force of colour, the energy it contains, have always been the main feature of my work, a potential for empathy with the world, to get in touch with our soul, directly, without superstructures,” says the artist. The chromatic code Elisa Vladilo defined adds emotional and imaginative shades to the landscape. It sparks amazement, wonder and surprise. The artist chooses sunny tones because they bring joy and vitality. This feeling is far from naive: it has a social potential for lowering the temperature of collective anxiety, possibly generating more serene moods. Elisa Vladilo’s chromatic textures often create spaces of encounter, rest and relationship: welcoming places.

The yellow and orange dots in felt placed on the pavement of Piazza della Repubblica in Trieste suggest relaxing moments (DOTCOMmunity, 2015). The soft blue carpet, also in felt, laid on the Audace pier in Trieste invites people to lie down where they normally would not (My Favorite Place, 2007). The warm and soft material used by Elisa Vladilo inspires a behaviour. The felt and foam used on the pier (the latter to cover lampposts and bollards) rouse a sense that is usually repressed in the urban space, the touch. Sound comes out of a pedestrian crossing (The Sound of Colours, Celje, Slovenia 2010; Venice, 2012; Villach, Austria, 2013) or from bales of hay to which the ear must be put near (Summertime, Trieste 2010). Realized with washable paint or soft materials such as felt, to which sometimes sound is added, Elisa Vladilo’s permanent or mostly temporary works are the matrix of unexpected sensory and relational stimulations. They invest not only the sight, but the whole body.

Colour takes up the nuances of the landscape (Prendo il paesaggio e lo porto con me, Nervesa della Battaglia, 2011) or play on the contrast with the architecture (The Melting Tower, Villach, Austria, 2012). It redesigns the shadows of buildings creating an ambiguous doppelganger (Funny Shadow, Fagagna, 2017) and transforms the streets into a happening (Nel blu dipinto di blu, Trieste, 2013; Melting Street, Pula, Croatia, 2013; again Prendo il paesaggio e lo porto con me). The collaborative nature of many of the artist’s work is important: the painted streets are realized through the participation of the people as a form of playful and liberating appropriation of the city and the landscape. Elisa Vladilo has dealt with a wide variety of places and people that have to be considered an active and central component of her work. The artist’s projects raise questions about the destiny of common spaces and the sense of inhabiting them. The artist takes an open, dialoguing position towards the city. The protagonists of the project Rima d’origine – made for the first time inside Trieste’s Central Railway Station in 2013 – are thirty-one women born outside Italy but residing in Trieste, invited by the artist to write a poem from their country of birth during a public performance.

The exhibition You will see colours that are happy. Elisa Vladilo. Environmental works 1995-2019 proposes for the first time a selection of projects carried out in public space and in the landscape during the last twenty-five years in Italy, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Great Britain and Mongolia. Elisa Vladilo’s temporary or permanent interventions are showcased in the exhibition through photographs, videos and drawings.

Alessandra Pioselli

Promoted by Trieste Contemporanea
In collaboration with the Municipality of Trieste

With participated
Banca Generali Claudio Stagni Private Banker
Casa dell’arte Trieste
Fondazione Casali