Elsa Salonen

Buni Buana (Hidden World)

natural elements collected from Indonesia and colours distilled or ground from them, glass, transparent paint, lights
2014-2015, 400x180x100 cm

For the installation various natural elements were collected in Java, Indonesia: rocks, plants, soil, volcanic ash as well as corals and shells which had drifted onto the beach. From each element, a colour sample was distilled or ground onto a microscopic slide. In addition, images of nature spirits were painted on the slides with a transparent paint. These painted spirits, related to local animist traditions, become visible only through their shadows, in this way revealing a hidden layer of nature’s reality.

The installation studies the presence of the spirit in matter through the animistic knowledge. Every single plant, rock and tree possess their own kind of spiritual consciousness.

Thematic consultancy / local animistic knowledge: anthropologist Patrick Vanhoebrouck 
Technical consultancy / local dye plants: batik artist Baweb Kapalatama 
Project location / artist-in-residence: Sewon Art Space, Yogyakarta, Indonesia 
Exhibition views: Adiacenze, Bologna, Italy, 2015 / Photographer: Jere Salonen

A cosmos full of persons, only some of whom are humans.

Graham Harvey, Animism, 2005