Elen Braga - Schep Vreugde in Het Leven
Hand-tufted textiles – Acrylic wool and jute, 2021, 100x100 cm
Elen Braga is a Brazilian artist living in Belgium. Her first visual artwork was a performance in which she painted her entire body pink. Since then she has come a long way as a multidisciplinary visual artist in the fields of installation, sculpture, and public space. Her large-scale installations often accompany a performative aspect connected to the use of her own image. She challenges herself to work with new materials and techniques; sewing, ceramics, metal. Most of the time, her work is strongly concerned with the contexts of the places in which it is presented - historically, politically, culturally, and socially. At the same time, she plays with the paradoxes of materiality, trying to use different materials than those used in everyday life. The traditional Belgian stitch as a metal crown or a carpet as a monumental vertical installation flag in a public space. She uses performance as a medium to investigate issues related to the individual subject’s strength, ambition, and resilience. Conceived, performed, and recorded in video, photography, objects, and diagrams, the focus is on the useless, absurd nature of these endeavors: allegories of insistence against the odds, confrontations against failure.