Artist: Klara Liden
Venue: Reena Spaulings, New York
Exhibition Title: Grounding
Date: November 4 – December 16, 2018
Klara Liden, excerpt of Grounding, 2018, HD video, 5 minutes 53 seconds
Full gallery of images, video, press release and link available after the jump.
Klara Liden, GTG TTYL, 2018, HD video, 1 minute 30 seconds
Images and videos courtesy of the artist and Reena Spaulings, New York. Photos by Joerg Lohse.
Klara Liden has raised the gallery floor to make a plywood screen for the continuous take of her new video Grounding, filmed in Lower Manhattan two weeks before the exhibition’s opening. Taking an iconic Massive Attack music video (Unfinished Symphathy, 1991) as a starting point, Liden adapts its steadycam choreography for an improvised walk in Lower Manhattan. Here, Chase Manhattan Plaza and the New York Stock Exchange become stage sets for a traveling shot that documents a sequence of hard pratfalls onto pavement. Walking while falling, falling back into walking, the artist’s fluid return to vertical, forward momentum after each stumble invents a mesmerizing ramble that puts the possibility of taking a rest back into motion.
Supported by a colonnade of steel shoring jacks that echo the non-stop construction site of the city outside and in the video, the tilted plywood floor is also a new wall dividing the gallery in two and making a sort of backstage of the unused part of the gallery. Playing on a small monitor, GTG TTYL is a second video shot in the empty gallery while Liden was still deciding what this show would be. Interrupted by fades to black, this video records more improvised movements within the blank page of the exhibition space.
In popular psychology, “grounding exercises” are a way to firmly anchor yourself in the present when you find yourself distracted and overwhelmed by distressing thoughts, memories or feelings. Grounding plays on the hereand-now of being overwhelmed and in constant motion, choreographing a slapstick dérive that enacts the contradictory necessities of taking a break and keeping on going on. Failing and flowing become two entwined possibilities of inhabiting a situation of being divided from our gestures while under the constant imperative to perform.
Thanks to Daniel Garcia for the videography of Grounding and to Askar Brickman for the soundtrack.
This is Klara Liden’s seventh show at Reena Spaulings. She has presented major solo exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery/London, the Moderna Museet/Stockholm, Jeu de Paume/Paris, Le Consortium/Dijon, Museion/Bolzano, the Fridericianum/Kassel and the New Museum/New York. Klara will have a solo exhibition at Secession/Vienna in February 2019.