Ellie Ga is currently developing a body of work inspired by the legends, mythologies and etymologies surrounding vanished civilizations and the contemporary adventures to find them in the ocean. By looking into the dark seas and distant past through recent discoveries (and ‘false’ discoveries) in the field of marine archaeology, she will develop a body of work inspired by the human desire to verify ancient myths. Her project will begin in Alexandria, Egypt where Ga is working with Alexandria University’s Department of Marine Archaeology and Maritime History.
Combining narrative genres such as the memoir and travelogue, Ellie Ga’s projects explore the limits of photographic documentation and span a variety of media, culminating in performances and installations. Her work probes the distinctions between documentary and fiction, private and public histories, writing and visual inscriptions, and the still and moving image.
Ga’s projects are research intensive and often center on the artist’s role as interpreter within historical and scientific frameworks. During a residency at the New York’s Explorers Club, Ga developed Catalogue of the Lost (and other revelations) a series of installations and narratives focused on the missing pieces of 19th century Arctic exploration: lost places, people and geographic concepts. Fascinated with past explorers’ successes and failures to document ‘the unknown’, Ga set out to catalogue and archive the Arctic world by being the sole artist to join the scientific crew of the Tara–only the second boat in polar history to purposefully lodge itself in the ice to drift indefinitely. Among the works based on the expedition is The Fortunetellers, a performance combining live narration, imagery and sound to conjure up the humor, banality and poetry of daily life in the Arctic night.
Curator: Ash Bulayev