ARNAUD ELE x LAURA KNOOPS
A stroke of ink can only bleed when the quality of the paper allows it to flow in narrow spaces. In a small way, the color defies gravity. Something similar happens when the two artists of Eleknoops work. They meld disparate aesthetics, influences, genres, even daily rhythms, aided by a kind of radical receptivity to one another and the outside world. “We do everything together,” says Laura. “It’s a balanced duo, an entity.” In their photography, fashion, and art, a certain textural depth, an adding of layers, can be perceived, a result of constant revision and the motion of new ideas.
In their work space in Berlin-Kreuzberg, beer bottles sit next to coffee cups, radios jostle with computers. A keyboard lies on the bed. “I play music every day,” says Arnaud. “The sound is for pleasure and for travelling—for leaving the room mentally while staying it in physically.” Eleknoops recently shot a fashion video featuring Arnaud’s music. The setting is retro France, the sound like nights on the smaller floors of Berlin clubs. “For me, Eleknoops is different practices: modern and vintage, analog and digital,” says Arnaud. “It’s logical to make use of the influences of the people and places around us.”
Perhaps most of all, the two members of Eleknoops make use of one another’s perception. “Arnaud has a relationship with the person in front of him,” says Laura. “I approach the project from a distance. I’m analyzing and asking, ‘What does it mean?’” In one memorable photograph by the duo, Arnaud is shown in a swimming pool. His body is abstracted but recognizable. What is water, skin, shadow, light? What can we feel? What is just illusion in our retinas and synapses? For Eleknoops, it’s not about dichotomy. There’s just the bleed, the blend, full of focus and intention.
written by Jeffrey Arlo Brown
July 2019, in Berlin