During a residency in Rome, Italy, Ellen became engaged in public protests against the 1992 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. While in Rome, she created an installation in the Grotta Pinta near the Campo dei Fiori in collaboration with Frances Bronet and Bruna Esposito.
Upon returning to the USA, she created an exhibition to share her concerns for the victims of ethnic cleansing, reminiscent of the Holocaust genocide. The installation included The Encounter, a 30’ long artwork of selenium-toned photographs mounted on steel with text, Mai Pui, a series of five steel tables with cast wax books, terracotta pit-fired body parts and lead tags in five languages, and Memoria Historica, a wall-sized work of cast wax pages. The material selection carried the emotional weight of the topic and metaphorically spoke to the malleable nature of history.
The work reminds us that history may be reconfigured as a matter of either fact or conjecture and how history is often manipulated to meet contemporary purposes.