Elsa CAYO
Artistic Practice Department

“I encourage students to use the studio as a laboratory where they will be able to test what their imaginations suggest or dictate to them. Students are free to experiment with all materials and media because a work of art is rooted not in a technique but in thought.
The point is to help each student to circumscribe and formulate his or her projects while bringing out the intellectual and practical issues involved and the concrete conditions for realizing them. I facilitate exploration and experimentation that allow each student to find his or her own visualmaterial language. I encourage students to extend their practice beyond technological tools and instruments and to ‘sort out’ not only their ideas but also their productions.”

Elsa Cayo was born in Peru. After studying visual arts and literature in Lima, she studied theater in Santiago, Chili. In the late 1970s she made the move to Europe, where she became involved in the art scene, creating a contemporary arts bookshop in Brussels. In 1982 she made a 15-minute video intitled Qui vole un oeuf, vole un oeuf, now part of the MoMA and Centre Pompidou collections. Her other video creations include Nez, Gorge, Oreilles; Le Java, and more recently Homes & Gardens; her films include Que sais-je? in 16 mm, and in 35 mm Allégorie: Où sont passés les chameaux? and Obstacle au mouvement: Didier Vermeiren, sculptures et photographies. In her work and development, Elsa Cayo has consistently engaged dialogue between cinema and the visual arts.
In 2006, Sixtine de Sainte Croix wrote a Master’s thesis at the Université de Nanterre-Paris X under the supervision of Thierry Dufrêne entitled Elsa Cayo, réalisatrice. La représentation mirée.
Cayo has recently published a portfolio of 100 photographs from a series entitled Figures. In 2008, films of hers were presented as part of an exhibition entitled Le couloir des miroirs ( art & cinéma) at the FRAC-Limousin. Her film Allégorie: Où sont passés les chameaux? was presented at an exhibition at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts entitled L’École de la Liberté: Être artiste à Paris 1648-1817. In 2010, Travaux choisis (selected works) at the Musée de Beaux-Arts of Brest.