Elizabeth Burmann Littin’s exhibition Pupila opens with an invitation to gaze through a pair of watery mollusc eyes. Borrowing the form of a tower viewer—fixed binoculars common in tourist destinations—her invertebrate glasses act as an intermediary between the outside world and the artist’s practice of worldmaking. Bringing together references from feminist science-fiction and decorative allusions to Art Nouveau the artist constructs an industrial aqueous landscape where ancient stalagmites, Jurassic shells and gelatinous beings co-exist.
With a strong knowledge of craft-based methods, Burmann Littin is a disobedient student. The central sculpture beso vegetal (2023) at once resembles a fragmented oyster shell and the bisection of a limb, anthropomorphized using rubber and stained glass. Like a beckoning call from a distant room, her seductive works ask you to meet them on the level of the floor, the ceiling and the wall. Combining organic materials sourced across Chile, Rhode Island and Ontario with steel manufactured in Hamilton, she muddies the separation between humans and nature. As the artist shares “everything is a beast in the wrong environment,” here beast and beauty are open to interpretation.
Contrasting the cold materiality of steel, an atmospheric pink light evokes the warmth of a perpetual sunset with the potential of a sunrise, or a dawn beckoning an unknown time. Recalling the triviality of human time to earthly—and more than earthly—time, her reconfigurations of creaturely life perform a slippery, anachronistic dance like an eyelid flickering over a pupila (pupil).
— Yasmin Nurming-Por