Weiss Falk

Klara Lidén – Now Two Three, in collaboration with Reena Spaulings
Weiss Falk, Basel
12.6–27.7.2019

Weiss Falk is delighted to announce their upcoming exhibition Klara Lidén Now Two Three.

The show starts with a blockade: the front door of the gallery is locked. One has to pass through the driveway with the bas relief of soldiers fighting to enter the gallery through the back door, where four cur- rent video works are on view.

A Walk in the Park is the centerpiece. The artist walks down the Ringstrasse in Vienna carrying a large metal frame covered with a tarpaulin — the kind used to screen construction sites and as hoardings for ads (often promoting real estate companies, contractors or the future building). They are picture carriers, like canvases or like the gallery’s dislodged wall protruding obliquely into the gallery space to serve as a projection surface. The display draws attention to the potential movability of any architectural structure. The white tarpaulin in the video looks pristine — occasionally it shows an imprint of the artist’s body. It recalls Lidén’s Poster Paintings, for which she took posters from various sites in the city and pasted over the multiple layers in white, thus erasing their direct infor- mative content. (One of Lidén’s first artistic actions was to remove all the billboards and advertising posters from downtown Stockholm overnight.) Given the large white surface featured in the present work, the viewer’s gaze is drawn to the edges of the picture, where we can make out si- te-specific information, including Viennese architecture and city squares, graffiti and gardens, fences and tram signs. The artist collaborated with Askar Brickman on the video’s rhythmic, energetic soundtrack.

The second projected video, Karl Zwei Drei, is a melancholic ode to Kottbusser Tor in Berlin and to Lidén’s artist friend Karl Holmqvist, who recites a poem whilst shifting back and forth from his left foot to his right foot in the distance. The camera roams the roof of the building like a ghost. Lidén describes the situation as a dance between Karl and herself behind the camera, a waltz to the unusual numerical sequence, an asyn- chronous sequence of movements that mixes and meshes with the mo- tions and sounds of the city. The yellow wooden bench in the gallery is an allusion to the yellow of the building façade and of Berlin’s U-Bahn.

Out to Lunch and GTG TTYL are set indoors and are about lea- ving interior spaces. In the first video, the artist steps out of the refrigerator in a sterile, renovated kitchen. In the second, she per- forms a dance inside the Reena Spaulings Gallery, disappearing three times — interrupted, each time, by black frames. All these films are about how a body is constituted by spatial settings of an urban, institutional or private nature. Some of the videos hark back to early silent film and slapstick in their structure and in their blend of humor and melancholy. There are also several allusions to 1970s performance videos by the likes of Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman and Martha Rosler. The dark gallery is illuminated by four hanging Jug Lamps. The pink sections on the canisters are markings used in road construction. The con- notations that construction site materials evoke — their sometimes brutal, inhuman overtones — seem reinterpreted here and become metaphors for the organic.

Arthur Fink

Photos: Flavio Karrer
Courtesy: Weiss Falk / Reena Spaulings and the Artist