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Interview

ING Unseen Talent Award 2019: Meet Elena Aya Bundurakis

text:
Futures Photography
Date:
August 29, 2019
Every year, ING, Unseen, and Futures work together for the ING Unseen Talent Awards. For this edition, it was selected five finalists from Futures: Elena Aya Bundurakis, Ulla Deventer, Irene Fenara, Kevin Osepa and Karolina Wojtas. The winners will be announced on the 19th of September.

Coached by Adam Broomberg, from the artistic duo Broomberg & Chanarin, the five finalists are currently producing the exhibition 'Nature of Change', that will be opened during the Unseen Amsterdam, between the 20th and 22nd of September.

In this interview, meet one of the finalists, Elena Aya Bundurakis. Bundurakis was born in Greece. In her research, she is constantly inspired by the anatomies of nature, either using animals, plants or her own body. One of her recent works, 'Eating Magma' explores how it feels to be a living organism.

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Can you explain to us a little about your practice? What inspires you?

Right now, amoebas inspire me! In my current practice, I have always started with sensations I wanted to convey: for example, how it feels to be a living organism among other organisms, or how it feels to give birth to an egg. I work mostly with image because I am fascinated by its power to activate all of our senses, not just the eyes. But according to the situation, I incorporate haikus (which I see as "written" images), drawings, video and most recently small sculptures.

As one of the finalists of the ING Unseen Talent Award, you're going to participate in an exhibition during the Unseen Amsterdam. What have you been working on for the exhibition?

I have been working on a new project called ME, YOU, AMOEBA. During this process, I have been reading about symbiosis and philosophies of nature. For example, how we project a capitalist hierarchy into the natural world, how we see other natural beings as strong, valuable, nurturing, etc., according to our own society constructed gender stereotypes. So, I attempted to convey natural organisms, as I truly believe they are: fluid and strong in their own existence without the need for a specific function or usability. I was taking images of microscopic organisms, the ones we normally consider as low hierarchy in nature, making them the protagonists of my work.

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In this process, you have been tutored by Adam Broomberg. How has this experience been for you?

One moment I felt I was up to something, and the other like completely failing. It was definitely a learning experience having to share my first sketches, because I normally like to go through the initial stage of a new work thinking alone. It was great (and tough) having an honest critique and there were questions raised, that are still in my mind.

Support your favorite artist for the ING Unseen Talent Award 2019. The online public voting is now open! You can choose between the five Futures Talents who are finalists of the award.

Vote here

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