Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

From January to April 2022

Elian Stolarsky

Foreign Country II, is a project that explores memories of the past as subjective, artistic constructions  

Keywords: Foreign country, abstract landscapes, textiles, drawings, memory, inheritance, fiction.

For a number of years now, Elian Stolarsky’s artistic work has been devoted to research, from both a historical and literary perspective, into the value of places as silent witnesses to violent episodes of the past. Echoes that leave their mark on landscapes, cities or fields, from which stories are told and a chosen History emerges.

Taking as a reference a number of thesis put forward in David Lowenthal’s book The Past is a Foreign Country, hence the title of the project, he explores a past which, through narratives, memories and things forgotten, turns into an alien place, and he establishes a tension between its capacity to shape identities and its perception as something distant.

Thus, landscapes that are marked by certain historical events are irremediably conditioned by their memory, because, as Lowenthal himself says: “The past is everywhere”.

Foreign country is therefore a project that will feature a series of abstract landscapes expressed in large-format textiles and drawings on paper. Landscapes that belong to a past that we did not experience in the flesh, but nevertheless become palpable in their transmission from one generation to the next and become a reality by being thus inherited. In short, it is the construction of a memory that seeks to connect individual and collective memories through the artistic process.


Elian Stolarsky (Montevideo, 1990). She has a degree in Visual and Plastic Arts from the Instituto Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (Montevideo) and a master’s degree with Honours in Installation and Graphic Techniques from the Kask & Conservatorium (Ghent). She is currently studying for a PhD in Archiving and Contemporary Art at the Complutense University of Madrid. She is the youngest artist ever to put on an individual exhibition at the Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales de Montevideo.

She has been awarded several prizes, grants and residencies such as the 1st Paul Cezanne Prize bestowed by the French Embassy in Uruguay; a residency and creation grant from the KALA Art Institute, USA; a residency at the Frans Masereel Centrum, Belgium; a residency scholarship from the Cité Internationale des Arts, France; and, in Spain: the SEGIB grant for the Casa de Velázquez, the Pilar Juncosa Grant for the Miró Mallorca Foundation or the Open Portfolio Award of FIG Bilbao, among others.

Her work can be seen in public and private collections in several countries all over the world.