The Great Indoors
April 6 – May 6, 2017
For her first solo exhibition in the city of Los Angeles, Berlin-based artist Klara Liden has produced a site-specific installation at Reena Spaulings Fine Art. Working with materials sourced locally, such as salvaged construction site barricades and two by fours, Liden reorganizes the interior space of the gallery by directing attention toward the view overlooking MacArthur Park. Blanking out areas of plywood with her own whitewash concoction (lime, concrete, wheat paste and water), she makes a sprawling minimalist painting that also serves as a screen or blind behind which a seating area has been built. A small video projection shows a pigeon hanging out in the street while an automated crosswalk signal for the blind repeats “wait… wait… wait...”
In the gallery’s front area, a smaller barricade supports a desk and seat for one person. The desk is illuminated by a single lamp made with a plastic milk bottle. Blocking the daylight from the windows, this blind creates a shadow for a second video projection: in Parklife (2017), a shopping cart abandoned in MacArthur Park’s lake is surrounded by a busy crowd of swimming water fowl.
Liden is an artist known for her interventions within the built environment, where she elaborates sculptural and architectural gestures that open up unexpected spaces of intimacy exactly where intimacy seems least possible. Previous works have involved building a secret underground apartment on city property in Berlin, setting up her own postal delivery service, removing all the public advertising from downtown Stockholm, handing a gallery over to live pigeons, creating an indoor forest with discarded Christmas trees, beating up a bicycle and warming up with the St. Petersburg ballet. Simple, elegant acts of displacement, whether of found materials or her own body, generate erotic possibilities and ludic moments within some of the city’s most policed zones. The Great Indoors lets the gallery sit and hold the daylight while, in the video Wait (2017) a slightly irritating, metronomic beeping sound holds part of the brain’s attention on edge… sit, wait, space out, go… it’s an installation using the most basic materials to present everyday space and time as an ideal medium for birds and people.
This is Klara Liden’s sixth 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.