Journey Around the World

27 Oct 2016 — 19 Jan 2017 at Elisa Contemporary Art in Riverdale, United States

John Conn, Cuba 37, 2016. Courtesy of Elisa Contemporary Art
John Conn, Cuba 37, 2016. Courtesy of Elisa Contemporary Art
12 DEC 2016

Elisa Contemporary Art new exhibit “Journey Around the World” travels to all corners of the globe...in a journey to see the new and explore the diverse, mysterious and intriguing. The exhibit opens on October 27.

In Burkina Faso, Africa with photographer Cheryl Koralik, we discover the tribal masques and raffia dress and adornments worn in Animist ceremonies. Animism believes that not only humans but all natural phenomena, natural objects, and the universe, embody a soul or spirit. Animists propagate the doctrine that the soul is the main driving force of life. She has captured the other-worldly essence of these rituals.

According to photographer Cheryl Koralik, “One day, while driving through Bobo she saw men adorned in raffia (a straw-like fiber) running through the streets with whips. I followed the men and discovered a whole new world—the spirit world of West Africa and the sacred masques. The chief of the village had died and, for weeks on end, the funeral rites would continue. Tradition played its role as guns fired in salute, the women sang a cappella and, as the balafons (West African xylophone) began to play, the sacred masques danced themselves into trances, acting as mediators while channeling the supernatural world of the dead in order to safely lead the deceased’s soul to rest with those of his ancestors: ceremonial protection through animistic beliefs, the spirit world unveiled….Thus began for me a new quest, a new photographic endeavor and a new journey—one filled with passion and magic that would take me to several West African countries.”

In early 2016, Bronx photographer John Conn spent a month in Cuba capturing the1950s-era cars and Spanish-colonial architecture, as well as the Timeworn but magnificent, dilapidated but dignified surroundings and the Cuban people.

Canadian artist, Marie Danielle Leblanc takes us to the Mountains of Nepal, where she traveled in 2014 though Annapurna and Thorong La over 17,769 feet above sea level and throughout The Himalayan Region which includes eight of the existing 14 highest summits in the world.

Back down to earth, Armenian-American artist Ferdinanda Florence takes us through the industrial streets of Vallejo California, while Colombian artist Alexis Duque takes us through the transformed skyscrapers of New York City, as reimagined with a Colombian hillside perspective. Turkish artist, Yasemin Kackar Demirel, builds her cityscapes with fragments of all the places she has lived and visited including Turkey, Chicago and New York. According to Yasemin, “I portray my reminiscences of places, which I then transform onto the image’s surface by colors, shapes and patterns. I believe every place and every memory of a place is fragmental and can be broken down to its constituents. Taken out of their context, reconstructing and remapping elements that I once personally experienced enables me to express abstracted narratives.”