From the moment Elisabeth Daynes began creating for the theatre, identity and metamorphosis were her constant companions. In the 1990's, captivated by the work of hyperrealist artists such as John de Andrea, Elisabeth turned her talent to recreating pre-historic hominids and humans. Her anatomically correct, incredibly precise, and profoundly expressive reconstructions quickly made her an internationally renowned paleo-artist. In 2006, Elisabeth's recreation of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen's face adorned the cover of National Geographic worldwide. Without abandoning paleo-art, Elisabeth has begun producing a body of personal work that reflects her fascination for Post-humanism.
Daynes' work is a quest to represent individuals and their bodies, some lost in the depths of time, others adrift in the future. She is a medium, channeling pre-human, human, post-human and trans-human souls. Time is a sort of raw material waiting to be shaped. Moving past today's narcissism where the boundaries between the real and the virtual are increasingly permeable, Elisabeth has created a dream-like universe, an anti-chamber to the future, where the latest fashions include blister-pack lips-to-order and living skin masks that you take off and regenerate much as you would contact lenses. Virtual identities are there for the taking; avatars make it possible to transcend our Human condition...Elisabeth's post-humans are still human beings with blood circulating in their veins; but they are evolving, floating in time, blossoming, reimagining themselves. As they search for their identity, they break down the here-and-now and redesign it at will. From diversity we came, and to diversity we shall return.
Her latest work, LA THERAPY, is an immersive installation that transports you to another era; one where humans seeking eternal youth "shop" for new facial features while others loose themselves in what they could be or become. All share the conscious or sub-conscious realization that Time is their enemy, with the Future harboring their ultimate destruction. These post-human travellers and billions of their fellow humans are preparing for exodus: out of their natural bodies, away from planet Earth and its gravity. Elisabeth Daynes has opened a window onto what may transpire when humans set out to become something more, or perhaps something else. And we ask ourselves: As we model and enhance our faces, bodies and minds, as we evolve in the vast expanse of space and time, will we still be Human?
Elisabeth Daynes lives and works in Paris.