@ekplisso (εκπλήσσω (ekplisso) : to amaze, dumbfound) is an online collaboration between artists Elaine Fisher and Lucy Gresley, launched in June 2020 in response to the COVID 'lockdown', that utilises instagram as a means of publishing conversational artworks in real time. Primarily based around the instagram ‘post’ each artist submits in turn a two dimensional version of work that has been made as a direct result of an ongoing conversation. Work to date has focussed on an expanded idea of collage which includes two and three dimensional works that converge with the artists main practices. Conversations begin privately on zoom and are developed online as works are made and juxtaposed, relating to each other visually, and conceptually through titles and stories that are shared in the post’s comments.
Originating in an increase in email and Whats App messages when Elaine moved to the USA in February 2018, Ekplisso grew out of the necessity to continue sharing ideas and a desire to undertake collaborative ventures despite geographical limitations. In the strange new world of COVID Ekplisso took on increased significance as a place, a virtual studio (visit) in which we could meet and share work. At a time when Instagram has became a safe, socially distanced, proxy for the physical exhibit, Ekplisso has tested its limitations but also uncovered new possibilities for the exhibition of art; creating a situation in which collaborative work maintains its real-time, conversational relationships, showing work at the time of its making, as the exhibition is being built.
In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth (Greek: Λαβύρινθος, labýrinthos) was an elaborate, confusing structure built by Daedalus for King Minos to hold the Minotaur. From as early as 430 BC the Labyrinth was re-imagined as a Classical ideal, a single-path of seven-courses (without branches or dead ends) that spirals towards the centre. It was not until the Renaissance that the confusing concept of the Labyrinth was re-born as the popular hedge-maze. Labyrinth and maze have become synonymous, yet scholars call for the distinction to be upheld. For clarity, and to honour the Greek origins of the complex labyrinth, we have chosen to utilise the greek verb, εκπλήσσω (ekplisso, to amaze or dumbfound) to describe the various pathways that intersect, diverge and end as we make work in conversation.