Elija Grybe's practice explores human relationship with organic bodies and violence in the Digital age. The works create an imaginary space, where bodies float together with images and endless information. In this space it becomes hard to separate the real from the artificial. The figures are engaging with each other in violent and sensual ways but framed within the rules of a competition. There is a sense of oddness in a body trained to fight for the sake of a performance. When doing martial arts, the artist is fascinated by the way it teaches the body to act unnaturally, yet the whole act of fighting and violence feels like the most pleasurable instinct. There is a sense of mimicked brutality.
A performed fight can open conversations about bodily strength, gender identity, masculinity, and control over one’s own body. As a sexual abuse survivor, fighting helped Elija take control over their body by giving the frames to train and explore the brutality of it. Performed violence reflects the violent human condition as well as the ability to play by the rules. Fight scenes on popular media get lost between real violence and the show. MMA fights, wrestling matches, movie fight scenes, all have a strangeness to it, that is explore with the artwork.