ELSABÉ MILANDRI: Our Mutual Coordinates


ELSABÉ MILANDRI: Our Mutual Coordinates
Sep 10 – Sep 26, 2020

‘Closeness, nearness and distance have taken on heightened meaning in pandemic times. My title is taken from the lyrics of Bjork's 2015 song ‘Stonemilker’. In the making of this collection of work, I almost constantly had this album, ‘Vulnicura’, playing in my studio. It started the process in fact, a gateway to the emotional register that was the locus of this body of work. Only as I was finishing up all the pieces did I read the lyrics.

The body of work references snippets from a news article (in the Guardian) that tells of a family’s quest to find their son: the mother handing out more than a 100,000 flyers; the father speaking at the reunion, thanking the tens of thousands of people for their help through the decades that led up to the specific Monday in May when they were reunited. The work can be read on different levels: the literal narrative (of people leaving and returning, of family) or the metaphorical (of loss and hope and returning to one’s self). ‘


A juxtapositioning [...]
Find our mutual coordinate

Moments of clarity are so rare
I better document this
At last the view is fierce
All that matters is

Who is open chested
And who has coagulated
Who can share
And who has shut down the chances



What is it that I have
That makes me feel your pain
Like milking a stone
To get you to say it

Who is open
And who has shut up
And if one feels closed
How does one stay open


Elsabé Milandri's (b. 1980 Pretoria) work spans observational drawing, nebulous layers of colour, and the visual language of epistemology, and searches out the synapses between ideas, figures, texts. She references her immediate field: motherhood, relationality, learning, home functions, planted environments, weather conditions. She completed her BA in Fine Art at the University of Pretoria in 2002 and a Masters in Fine Art, New Media, at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT, 2006. In addition to her solo shows, she has taken part in art fairs and group exhibitions in Cape Town, Johannesburg & Pretoria as well as Basel. Milandri lives in Cape Town with her husband and four children.  


*Face masks are required and must be worn when visiting the gallery