A Voice Is Heard Echoing, work by Elena K Dahl
April 2 - 30, 2016
Opening reception: Saturday, April 2, 7:00 - 11:00 pm
Live(In) Gallery announces its April show, A Voice Is Heard Echoing, work by Elena K Dahl. A Voice is Heard Echoing documents multiple narratives involving the creation and preservation of Neolithic temples in Malta through diptychs and images of museum text. Many of the legends portrayed in the country’s two Archaeology museums revolve around female figures: one story goes that the structure Ġgantija was built by a giantess named Sansuna who lugged boulders on her back while breastfeeding her baby and eating honey, and some believe that the sitewas once used by a matriarchal society for worshipping a fertility goddess (before a new influx of peoples came and instilled a patriarchal order.) Modern archaeologists are less keen to make such specific and gendered claims about the purpose of this place and others like it, instead acknowledging that while such spaces do indicate some kind of religious worship, there is no proof of that worship being grounded in the veneration of a divine feminine power.
The photographs invite a viewer to see double, to visually process two points of view or separate moments in time, to simultaneously gather contradictory “ghost stories” claiming authentic interpretations of prehistory. Ġgantija was made by a matronly giantess, or no, it was made by Le Corbusier’s “brother across time.” The figures found in and around Neolithic sites in Malta are female, or no, they are not. Photographs of Malta and its “sister island,” Gozo, along with images referring to other mythological and religious female figures associated with the islands like Calypso, Pandora, and Mary, populate the series. Because there is no written record or much material context to explain the function of prehistoric architecture and artifacts, the analysis of prehistoric art is often speculative and especially reveals the values of the researcher/looker/chronicler. Therefore I frame mirrors, screens, and display cases alongside the wider environments that become repositories for knowledge and meaning in prehistory, revealing patterns, portals, and comparisons along the way.
Elena K. Dahl is an interdisciplinary artist and Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Earlham
College in Richmond, IN. Dahl received her MFA in Photography from the School of Art + Art
History at the University of Florida in 2013 and has exhibited her work nationally and
internationally. Her work examines confluences of architecture, myth, history and desire through
digital photography and installation. http://www.elenakdahl.com/
Live(In) Gallery announces its March show, Please come celebrate the opening of A Voice Is Heard Echoing at Live(In) Gallery on April 2nd!