Just like the needle on a seismograph, diligently and steadily working away, Ella Goerner's hands document the erosion of the landscape around us as it shifts and changes. Mapping out, describing and rearranging the different objects from our environment, she presents to us new information about our world that had gone unnoticed. Whether it's in her hypnotic digital paintings, fragmented installations, vibrant videos or hypothetical business proposals, Ella has the knack for making what is normally invisible, visible. By transforming the virtual world into the physical (and vice versa), she forces us to question what is natural, what artificiality looks like; what is real and what is unreal.
Right from her first solo show Sustainability & Opportunities, through to her project The Subversive Eco Coin Proposal, Ella has been critiquing our reliance on the current corporate structure and a market that doesn't include more diverse forms of growth as it comes only in the form of the obsession with producing and consuming. Using the gallery space to introduce hypothetical business proposals, newly invented eco-products, 'green' brand banners (in After Wilderness at C. Rockefeller Center), and corporate identities concerned with sustainability, Ella creates a convincing alternate reality. Put it down to her continued immersion into Buddhism, Hinduism and other modern practices of spirituality over the last 10 years, or her active research into environmentalism, but Ella is acutely aware that we all need to define our relationship with nature and technology. And in particular, be more invested in finding and embracing a new, eco-friendly and non-destructive economy.
Working with both two dimensional and three dimensional forms, she flits between a digital and a physical existence, much like most of today's society does unconsciously. The colourful squiggles and vibrant flowers from her Photoshopped collages are made real in her fragmented installations of artificial flowers, coiled ropes and metallic artefacts. So not only do we see the natural objects erode into digital versions of themselves, but also our very notions of nature, reality and the human-made world start to fall away. Virtual Rooms give way for a competitive dance in her recent paintings. Minerals, flowers and architectural elements are joining for a otherworldly meeting without human interference.
Call it post-natural, eco-contemporary or greenovation, Ella's work is mapping out our new world. Our connection with technology informs her work, especially her latest pieces, made for the Helmholtz Institution. Taking practices like hyperspectral imaging and remote sensing as inspiration, she continues to reveal new dimensions of our surroundings, making that which is immaterial, material.
Text by Genista Jurgens