(Re-)using common materials which can be salvaged from urban space or sourced from
outmoded stock, Klara Lidén’s practice involves a notion of practical recycling. There is no
‘aura’ of past times, no sense of nostalgia in the vintage system of pump and hoses she retools to
construct a closed circuit of water running through the central installation in her first solo
exhibition at Neu, which is also her first solo exhibition in Berlin. Rather, this equipment
somewhat pragmatically serves to set up a compact temporary structure, to claim space inside
the gallery space. It is ‘animated’ by an internal dynamic, the flow of the water that guarantees
volume and stability, suggesting a strong sense of presence, which is heightened by the sound
that fills the rooms.
The second component of the exhibition is a series of mid- to large-scale inkjet prints. The
larger black and white prints layer multiple views of similar-looking, common objects – a
dumpster (a recurring motif in Lidén’s recent work) and a set of table and benches, as they are
commonly found in German beer gardens. What at superficial sight appears to be a stable, selfidentical object is in fact an aggregation of many such objects, which are visually superimposed over each other. The individual moments in time when and the individual sites where the photos have been taken are condensed in a static yet flickering rendition of the respective objects.
Lidén’s recent slide works have frequently translated moving video images into short narrative
sequences animated by the jerky movement of the slide carousel. With this in mind, one could
think of these prints as animation movies, whose frames are not shown in rapid succession to
create the impression of movement, but rather presented all at once, evoking a highly
compressed temporality. In the smaller prints, Lidén herself features as an actor, entering or
exiting a duct to either disappear or resurface from the underground. Two collages hint at the
notion of occupying (public) space, a notion whose political implications are perhaps more
present than ever in the Fall of 2011.
Klara Lidén’s works have been shown internationally in solo and group exhibitions, most
recently, among others, at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm (solo), the 54th Venice Biennial,
Jeu de Paume in Paris (solo), and Museum of Modern Art in New York (solo). She is the grant
recipient of the Carnegie Art Award 2012 and was nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie
für Junge Kunst in 2011. On this occasion, her work is currently featured in an exhibition at
Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (through January 8th, 2012).