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Elena Helfrecht

Plexus, Elena Helfrecht

Plexus, Elena HelfrechtPlexus
Elena Helfrecht


Edition of 1000
104 pages
240 x 300 mm
ISBN 9786185479282


Following the death of her grandmother, artist Elena Helfrecht embarked on a photographic journey through her family’s estate in Bavaria. Employing the interiors, objects and archives, she began to explore the ideas of inherited trauma and postmemory—the relationship following generations have to the traumas of those who came before.

In her black and white photographs, Helfrecht uses the house and its contents to stage an allegorical play. The interiors and still lifes, which at first glance appear to show mundane objects and scenes, become increasingly unsettling: stalactite-like deposits drip sideways from walls, dark chasms open up beneath the floor boards, a snake coils around a dolls’ house and chairs hang from the beams. As the narrative progresses, motifs of eggs, birds and fleshy growths (a nod to the title, ‘Plexus’—a network of nerves or vessels) are interwoven with archival family photographs, hinting at links and connections between inscrutable symbols, people and places.

About the Artist
Elena Helfrecht, born in Bavaria in 1992, is a German visual artist known for her dreamlike and surreal photographic works. Her practice mainly revolves around phenomena of consciousness, combining individual experiences with collective history. Her work has been exhibited at South London Gallery (UK), Galleria Civica Cavour (IT), The Benaki Museum (GR), Palácio das Artes (BR), Peckham 24 (UK), Photo Vogue Festival (IT), and Encontros da Imagem (PT). She is a recipient of the British Journal of Photography International Photo Award, a Sony World Photo Award, the Camera Work Award and the AOP Student Award. She was selected as one of the Bloomberg New Contemporaries and nominated for the FOAM Paul Huf Award. Recently, VOID selected her as one of the Futures Photography Talents. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, ZEIT Magazin, Financial Times Weekend, The British Journal of Photography, Granta, Der Greif, and Source Magazine.

About the Publisher
Void is an independent publishing house dedicated to photography books and education. The project is driven by its founders Myrto Steirou and João Linneu. You might bump into Myrto, Void’s editor, at a book fair or festival in a far flung part of the globe, but you’ll usually find her in Greece, at their store in Athens. João, Void’s designer, is based in Reykjavík… it’s entirely possible that you may not meet him (in person at least). Void works with both established and up-and-coming artists, proudly fostering photographers’ debut books.

Void has collaborated with many international art institutions since we started, back in October 2016. In 2021 Void became one of Futures Photography’s members. Void is devoted to and passionate about the projects they undertake. In their books, you will find powerful stories and innovative design, melded together with fine and experimental material.