Elīna Vītola

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  1. PARASITES duo project with Flo Kasearu at Dorich House, London, UK

    Series of  Bronze minimonuments parasitizing on the collection of Dora Gordine's sculptures and house. 

    In Parasites Flo Kasearu & Elīna Vītola are themselves hosted at Dorich House Museum, the 1930s former studio-home of artist Dora Gordine (1895-1991) in Kingston upon Thames. The artists have intervened in the museum’s collection displays in a range of subtle but potent ways, both turning Gordine’s own sculptures to align with the angle of the wall separating Richmond Park from the museum’s grounds, and pairing versions of Gordine’s sculptures in different materials or finishes. In so doing, the artists build a dialogue across time and borders between themselves and Gordine.
    Amongst the collection, the artists have integrated a multitude of unassumingly tiny objects using Gordine’s chosen medium of patinated bronze. These new ‘miniature monuments’ include direct casts of ticks, thorns, deer poo and seeds from Richmond Park, as well as other items, which Kasearu and Vītola
    have attached parasitically to Gordine’s own works. Each of these tiny objects carries significant potential for change: thorns inflict wounds; ticks infect with disease; a seed or a match can initiate transformation.
    Philosopher Michel Serres’s book Parasite (1980) explores how through being pests, minor groups can establish great importance. Parasites might cause harm, but they can also create vital diversity and complexity in systems and help establish communication between different spheres.
    As Estonian and Latvian contemporary artists, Kasearu and Vītola have a complex relationship with neighbouring Russia, especially in the context of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. With this in mind, the
    two artists have created solid bronze replicas of bullets*, the most deadly of small objects, which they have integrated into the Museum’s Russian art collection.

    Dora Gordine (1895-1991) was born in Latvia and first exhibited in Estonia. Forging her reputation as a sculptor in Paris, London, and Berlin, from 1930 Gordine worked and travelled in Southeast Asia before settling in London, where Dorich House was built to her own design a ‘deer’s leap’ from Richmond Park. Following Gordine’s death, the Grade II listed building, an exceptional example of a modern studio house, was acquired and renovated by Kingston University and is now a museum.
    Text by Borbála Soós.

    Supported by Kingston University, Arts Council England, the Estonian Ministry for Culture, Estonian Embassy in London, Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center, and State Culture Capital Foundation, Latvia. Courtesy Temnikova & Kasela and Kogo Gallery. Special thanks to Guillermo (Will) Rodriquez Lopez, Lydia Arney, Kertu Tuberg, Holly Foulds & staff at Richmond Park, The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine & Dorich House team.


    Photography by Jack Elliott Edwards and Ellie Laycock