Der Wald und das Steppenkind
21 March 2022 -  27 March 2022

“ I only got to know the forest at the age of 16 when I came to Austria. The forest is a space that I cannot classify. It is endless like a steppe where I grew up. But it blocks my view. It has a spatiality in which there is no middle ground. I'm not even sure if there's a foreground either.

There is only the forest. It's a body I can walk through. In which I can move. I am in a substance. In a matter.

In the forest.

In the forest I share the air with the trees. I share my breath with them. The breath is divided into inhalation and exhalation. And a standstill, a stillness in between. Inhaling from the tree. Exhaling into the tree. The tree exhales into me. I exhale through the tree. The tree breathes in through me. This is possibly the most intimate relationship one can have.

I dissolve in the forest. ”

- Elena Kristofor

Elena Kristofor (b. Odessa, Ukraine) is a visual artist living in Vienna, Austria.

She experienced the collapse of the Soviet Union and spent her youth in independent Ukraine. At the turn of the millennium she emigrated to Austria, where art in times of longing soon became her refuge while she learned the way of life of the new environment. After moving to Vienna, she studied architecture at
the Vienna University of Technology. Soon after, she decided to devote herself to art and studied art and photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

Teenage years in Ukraine, the unique landscape of the Black Sea and the soothing stillness of the open steppe influenced Kristofor's sense of space and light in her artistic work. She is one of the few to bridge the gap between nature and built structure in photography, blurring the dividing line between these fields. She explores the limits of perception through reflections, layers, superimpositions, transparency and changes in perspective. Kristofor's works occupy a space between photography and installation by crossing the threshold between image and reality. The artist works with both natural and industrially manufactured materials such as mirrors, foils, wooden slats or glass and combines collage, assemblage and folding techniques,

Elena Kristofor's interest in spatial perception, reflection, the relationship between artist and viewer is reflected in group exhibitions in institutions such as the Austrian Cultural Forum London, the Landesgalerie Linz, the Museum for Western and Oriental Art in Odessa and solo exhibitions at PARALLEL Vienna, Sternstudio or Public domain in Vienna. In her current projects she continues to focus on shifts in reality. She lives and works in Vienna.

- Diana Smaczynski



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