“At the salt mines of Hallein near Salzburg the miners throw a leafless wintry bough into one of the abandoned workings. Two or three months later, through the effect of waters saturated with salt which soak the bough and then let it dry as they recede, the miners find it covered with a shiny deposit of crystals.”
—Stendhal, On Love, 1822
Salzburg Bough takes its inspiration from the chapter in Stendhal’s book describing “crystallization,” the most important stage in the act of falling in love. This metaphorical term describes attraction as being the shimmering crystals encrusted on an otherwise ordinary leafless bough. The piece was originally installed in the former salt factory in Hallein that inspired Stendhal’s writing and is re-created for this exhibition.
About the Artist
Elise Rasmussen (b. 1977, Edmonton, Canada) first honored her franco-philia at the age of ten by proclaiming she would go by her middle name Elise. She continues to indulge her penchant for French culture by spending time in cafes, using Garamond typeface whenever possible, and creating projects inspired by New Wave cinema and the French Revolution. In addition to these pursuits, her works explore many themes including the relationship between salt and love, and how art makes people sick.
Elise received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. She has exhibited in the United States, Canada, Austria and Germany. Elise lives in Brooklyn, NY and is currently working on a project that investigates reasons why the Atlantic Ocean is ruining her love life, and the legacy of the Cod Fishery and Beothuk cultures on contemporary identity in Newfoundland.
Image courtesy the artist.