Elena Cologni is a Lecturer in Fine Art in College of Arts. Cologni gained a BA in Fine Art from Accademia di Belle Arti Brera in Milan, an MA in Sculpture from Bretton Hall College, Leeds University and a PhD in Fine Art from University of the Arts, Central Saint Martins College, London, 2004 (CSM). Cologni was Post Doctorate Research Fellow at CSM (2004/06 funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council), Research Fellow at York Saint John’s University (2007/09), and an associate to the Creativities in Intercultural Arts Network (University of Cambridge) (2013/16), addressing: research as art practice methodologies, documentation of ephemeral art as the work, participatory/dialogic approach, in(ter)disciplinarity. Her academic profile has been nourished by an active professional artistic site responsive practice, where process is central to her ‘research as art practice’ approach, and she often collaborates with academics and professionals from other disciplines with open formats as part of her process. These result in drawings, sculptures, video and text. In her work she has been interested in sharing experiences of the unstable nature of perception and memorisation of reality through time (eg. the Mnemonic Present, Un-Folding series of video live installations 2005-2006 was developed as part of my post-doctoral project at CSM supported by Arts and Humanities Research Council). Since 2006, her work became distinctively situated and participatory (eg. Experiential, funded by Arts Council of England among others), interrogating on the nature of memory, the archive, remoteness, heritage, personal histories, the city. She won a residency at the Centre for Contemporary art Glasgow, and presented Re-Moved at Glasgow international 08, CCA Glasgow, 2008, centred around notions of memory as archival and removal in trying to enhance the audience’s and her own experience of who we are in any given moment. For this using video pre-recorded and archival material in the ‘presentness’ of the event, underlined the everyday’s condition of constantly engaging with (and processing) re-presentation of immediate or remote past, to make sense of the present. The present of the exchange with others (the dialogic) remains a core element in her practice (eg. residency at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2009, Arts Councils of England, Geomemos, on measuring land through time, with drawings and small sculptures).
Her ongoing umbrella project ROCKFLUID (2011/13-2014/15) is the outcome of a residency at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Experimental Psychology (awarded with two Grant of the Arts, Arts Council of England, and Escalator Visual Art Retreat at Wysing Arts Centre, Escalator live art, Colchester Arts Centre). Adopting an interdisciplinary and dialogic approach, this includes works such as the participatory live installation Spa(e)cious (Wysing Art Centre, Galleria Artra Milan, MK gallery Milton Keynes, Philosophy and performance group, performance Studies international and Kingston University Art Research Unit, Bergamo Scienza); ‘views form above’ (Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge); L’elastico (Ruskin Gallery, MK Gallery, 2012); the public art/sculptural installations Navigation Diagrams (MK Gallery); U’ Verruzze’ and Balancing (as part of Radio Materiality, curators Vessel, Bari, Athens Biennale 2013, and solo show at Doppelgaenger Gallery Bari, Italy, 2014); lived dialectics: movement and rest (Q2, MuseumsQuartier Vienna, Austria, 2016). All of the above share the interest in investigating how the delicate relationship between memory, presentness and place impact on the construction of our identity. The most recent work addresses issues of identity in relation to place attachment and motherhood and will be exhibited at New Hall Collection Cambridge.
Fine Art (site specific, dialogic, performace, sculpture, drawing) as interface in society (psychology and sociology, gendered cognition), memory studies (cultural and communicative memory, memory and presentness), interdisciplinary approaches to research, research methodologies
Educational activities are regularly provided in collaboration with Art Galleries and Museums, for example with: for the Circuit project (funded by Tate and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, at Wysing Arts Centre and Kettles Yard, Cambridge) and Sainbury Centre for the Visual Arts, Norwich, among others.
Cologni also collaborated with the NHS Foundation Trust (Peterborough and Cambridge) to devise a pilot project of creative interventions in schools