Elan Greenwald received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Irvine in 2014; and a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University in 2006. In the fall of 2014, Greenwald was awarded a Fellowship at Cologne's Kunsthochschule für Medien (Academy of Media Arts).
During this fellowship, Greenwald began work on an expansive project centered on the redevelopment of Prora, an abandoned, never-completed Nazi vacation hotel on the island of Rügen. The seaside ghost town of award-winning, institutionally generic buildings, originally meant to accommodate 20,000 vacationers at a time, is now being retrofitted as an upscale resort of condominiums and hotels rebranded under several identities, including Neues (New) Prora. The resulting documents and artifacts of Greenwald’s research manifest as an unusual synthesis of this Baltic region’s history, natural resources and transformation all intertwined with his own travelogue-like accumulation.
List of works:
• Curtains for Prora (2015)
Made from German, gray industrially-produced wool felt and Greenwald’s own handmade, hand-sewn felt appliqués of German Merino wool. Wool felt is traditional German material with ancient origins, now widely used as protective cases for computer and mobile electronics. The Merino sheep’s wool is sourced from a farm located outside Munich, where the majority of buyers of Prora’s new luxury apartments live. The Merino wool is marketed as a quasi-medicinal material containing lanolin, a natural animal wool fat that is claimed to posses healing properties. The size of the curtains allows them to fit comfortably in both Prora’s new condominiums and Greenwald’s Cologne apartment.
• Arc (2015)
High definition video (Duration 00:09:19)
The footage was shot using the Vine application on an iPhone. The video clips play back at their native resolution and aspect ratio, the amount of white space between the video clips and the edge of the TV is determined by the resolution of the television. The duration of the white space that precedes each video clip matches the duration of the video clip that follows. The depicted imagery captures no humans, only the curved seaward facing side of the partially redeveloped Neues Prora, Prora Solitaire, and BinsProra redevelopment projects.
• Just what I always wanted to have (2015)
Made from clear and white German Plexiglas using German sign stand-off stainless steel hardware, a very common form of corporate signage in Germany. On the surface of the Plexiglas is a logo shaped laminate painted over in oil pastel to resemble a segmented earthworm. The white logo form on this sign is pulled from Neues Prora’s logo. The work’s title is a translation of one of the marketing slogans found at the redeveloped site.
• 11:38 a.m. (2015)
• 1:12 p.m. (2015)
• 2:18 p.m. (2014)
• 3:51 p.m. (2014)
• 10:51 p.m. (2015)
Pigment prints capturing Greenwald’s in-flight studio, the airplane’s folding table, on his travels to and from Cologne. The images depict watercolor portraits of anonymous airplane passengers, Greenwald’s paints and brushes plus other incidental elements – all components adhering to the airlines carry on restrictions.