GIULIANA BORRELLI


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ELVA 

2019 - ongoing in collaboration with Ida Chloë Lou


´Elv’ means river in Norwegian. In dialect, we often say ‘Elva’, ‘The River’. This project is about Akerselva, which is an 8,2 kilometre long river that bends through the city of Oslo. It starts at Maridalsvannet, Oslo’s largest lake, and continues to flow between the urban areas, before it ends at the harbour. We live next to the river at a point where it turns into a large, loud waterfall. It has come to be our favourite place. The Old Scandinavian Norse name of Akerselva was Frysja, which ‘has been revived as the name of a neighborhood along the river’, rooting in the verb ‘frusa’, ‘froth’, ‘referring to the many waterfalls in the river.’ With analogue images, we are slowly mapping out the life alongside the river’s edges; and the life it gives to the residents of the city. During the pandemic, the riverbank has continued to be a notably valuable gathering place, binding people together in a time of social isolation. There are many bridges along the way, and while standing on Jerusalem bru (Jerusalem Bridge), which hovers from 33-meter tall towers above the river; you realise how humanity builds its way around nature, not the opposite. The river, undisturbed by the transpirations of the rest of the world, does not stop, does not sleep.