Biography

Elena Helfrecht was born in Germany and is based in London.
In 2014 she graduated in Art History and Book Science at Friedrich-Alexander-University in Erlangen and is enrolled in the Master’s Programme of Photography at the Royal College of Art from 2017 to 2019.

Through photography she examines the inner space, consciousness and communication. Her images are created from multiple layers of meaning, characterised by a visceral iconography. She is influenced by the folklore of her childhood in Bavaria and her active and continuous passion for Art History and Psychology.

Statement

My photographic practice revolves around the inner space and its interactions with mental and material environments. I am interested in how inner space is informed and influenced, where it originates and how it can be made visible. Engaging in creative playing becomes a direct connection between the internal and external realm. By confronting the intangible, I relate individual experiences to the collective history and turn personal involvement into a shared understanding.

In employing a theory I call the Matrixial Camera, photography becomes a performative action and an extended form of procreation. Making the image is a circular action, entailing birth, death, dissociation, and abjection. The inner space is extended through the apparatus into the image: Thought and vision are injected into the womb of the camera, where a palpable reality is impregnated by light, coalescing into a two-dimensional image. A part of the self is killed, the reality in front of the lens sliced and silenced by the shutter, only to be revived by the gaze of the beholder.


Education

2017 - 2019     MA Photography, Royal College of Art, London
2016 - 2017     MA Art and Image History, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin
2011 - 2014     BA Art History & Book Science, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen

Exhibitions

2019

Genova, Other Identity (Upcoming)

2018

Berlin, Berlinblue Art Gallery, European Month of Photography (Upcoming)
Illinois, Aeon Gallery, Rapture (Upcoming)
Arles, Cosmos, Family of No Man
London, SafeHouse 1, One Year Revolv
Tokyo, Vanilla Gallery, 25 Years of Inside Artzine
Berlin, Curated by Girls, Whole - United Queer Festival
London, Tate Modern, Offprint
London, Subject Matter, Disrupt
London, Royal College of Art, Work in Progress Show
Berlin, Curated by Girls and Pornceptual, Ocean Porn
Milan, MIA Photo Fair

2017

Łódź, Fotofestiwal: Trash cans for hearts and people have no soul
Paris, Fotofever
MilanMIA Foto Fair
Brussels, Off Course Art Fair
Berlin, Moviemento, Final Girls Film Festival
Brussels, Galerie Marie Demange, La peau de l'ours
Dublin, GalleryX, Still Lives: Honouring the Dead

2016

Berlin, Unframed Festival
Berlin, Cell63 Gallery, Ophelia
Berlin, Cell63 Gallery, All dreams continue in the beyond
Athens, Atopos CVC, Unlocked
Zürich, KH5 Gallery, Cross the Line
Brussels, Off Course Art Fair
Brussels, Berlin Extravaganza

2015

North Carolina, Click! Triangle Photo Festival
Berlin, Cell63 Gallery, There is strong shadow where there is much light
Tokyo, Vanilla Gallery, There is strong shadow where there is much light
Paris, La Cave Showroom Gallery, Cross the Line
Tokyo, Vanilla Gallery, Goth: Dissection and Suture
Berlin, Galerie Morgenrot, Triskaidekaphobie

2014

Berlin, Galerie Morgenrot, Rituals (Solo)
Bamberg, Sound 'n' Arts, Nightmares (Solo)
Berlin, Cell63 Gallery, Reflect: Art is Dead
Berlin, FotoliaLAB, Docma Award
Frankfurt, Museum für Kommunikation, DOCMA Award
Bamberg, Jugendzentrum, Brüche

2013

Whitby, Spa Pavilion, Bram Stoker International Film Festival
Heilbronn, ABM-Salon, Schwarzer Abend (Talk with Dr. Bernhard Stumpfhaus) (Solo)

Awards

2018

European Photography Award, Nominee
Revolv One Year Open Call, Selected
Royal Photographic Society, 100 Heroines, Nominee

2017

London International Creative Competition, Shortlist
International Photography Awards, Honorable Mention
Fotofever, Selected for "The Collector's Apartment"
Photography Grant, Nominee

2014

Docma Award, First Prize
Fine Art Photography Awards, First Prize

Publications

Print (Selection)

Omens (Photobook, selfpublished, 2018)
Dust (Photobook, Ed. Pamela Dimitrov, selfpublished, 2018)
Unvael Journal, Ed. Michael Ash Smith, Issue 2
Sabat Magazine - 3: The Crone Issue
Unlocked, Ed. Vassilis Zidianakis, Atopos
THE OPÉRA Vol. VII, Ed. Matthias Straub, Kerber Verlag
THE OPÉRA Vol. IV, Ed. Matthias Straub, Kerber Verlag
Steam Noir IV, Felix Mertikat & Verena Klinke, Cross Cult Verlag
Docma Magazin, No. 60 & No. 75
Miroir Magazine, Legend
Straw Dogs Magazine, Issue 4
Schwarzweiss Magazin, Nr. 99

Online (Selection)

The Royal Photographic Society - 100 Heroines
Livetrigger Magazine
F-Stop Magazine, #88
art - Das Kunstmagazin
Stern.de
Stern View Spotlight, Mai Nr. 94
Rosa JH Berland
Academy Now
L'Oeil de la Photographie
Curated by Girls
This isn't Happiness
Klassik Magazine
Muybridge's Horse
The 405
Cvlt Nation
The Phoblographer
Wallstreet International Magazine
Lamono Magazine
Organiconcrete
Papercut Magazine
Widewalls
Photogrvphy Magazine
Photo Vogue
Scene 360 Magazine
Kaltblut Magazine
Kwerfeldein
The C-41 Photographic Magazine
Art Fucks Me
Bleaq
The 25th Century
Nakid Magazine
Fotolia

Selected Clients

Freeform/ABC Studios, Bookme, Gallery Books, Golkonda, Edition Roter Drache, Grimace, Johannes Franke, La Fée Verte, Lisa Morgenstern, Plainpicture, Arcangel

Represented in private and public collections in UK, US, Japan, Thailand, Italy, Germany, Belgium, France.

Using Format