Artists: Klara Lidén, Alicia Frankovich
Exhibition title: Complex Bodies
Curated by: Christina Lehnert
Venue: *Kurator, Gebert Stiftung für Kultur, Rapperswil, Switzerland
Date: September 18 – November 8, 2015
Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artists, Starkwhite Auckland and Galerie Neu, Berlin
Complex Bodies is the ﬁrst exhibition in the new series of shows dedicated to the theme “120%–Optimization vs. Entropy” and taking place in the context of the *Kurator program of the Gebert Stiftung für Kultur.
The exhibition deals with the interfaces between the body and the external world, physical and psychological reactions to external inﬂuences.
How does the body respond when confronted with an unfamiliar context? What is triggered by the demands that we place on ourselves or that are dictated by external competitive challenges? How do they inﬂuence our bodies? What happens on a psychological level when the body is exposed to or must cope with certain external situations? In their performances, ﬁlms, and sculptural works the invited artists Alicia Frankovich (*1980 in Tauranga, New Zealand) and Klara Lidén (*1979 in Stockholm) address the interplay between volition and expectation, the internal and the external, individual and society, and the body and (surrounding) space.
Complex Bodies is an inversion of the term “body complex,” a title emphasizing the multiple meanings of the word “complex.” “Complex” refers both to the psychological entity situated in our unconscious and inﬂuencing our actions or sensations and to the adjective referring to something as interwoven and multilayered.
Complex Bodies examines the elaborate make-up of every individual—how we all wrestle with ourselves on a psychological level and how this is expressed in a bodily response.
In the ﬁlm created in 2014 for the Manifesta in St. Petersburg, Warm Up: Heremitage State, artist Klara Lidén shows herself taking part in the warm-up exercises of the St. Petersburg State Ballet. The artist herself takes the stage—in the midst of a row of almost marionette- like ballerinas. She tries to follow the rehearsed choreography of the dancers, but with obvious difﬁculty. The expanse of the stage and the bright light of the spotlights expose the dilettantish nature of Lidén’s movements, which make the artist all the more susceptible to the judging eye of the viewer.
Complex Bodies focuses on the sculptural works of artist Alicia Frankovich. Similar to her performance-based practice, these works interrogate the body and its movements in public space, a domain shaped by society. Many of the works that she produced between 2007 and 2015 are kinetic sculptures that exist in a moving or apparently frozen state. Others are exposed to an almost imperceptible state of decay. These works hang from the ceiling, are in the process of falling, or have already been dented. They exert their impact through the variety of materials from which they are constructed, and often they are subjected to different speeds, which heighten the physicality of the works’ presence. Whereas Klara Lidén faces unfamiliar contexts in her video works and places herself in situations forcing her to confront shifting scenarios, Alicia Frankovich analyses different aspects of how our social behaviors are shaped and our cultural gestures are informed—appropriating and contrasting these ingrained patterns in her works.
Alicia Frankovich, Soft Water, 2015
Alicia Frankovich, Soft Water, 2015 (detail)
Alicia Frankovich, Chair with Eggs, 2011
Alicia Frankovich, The Blush, 2015
Alicia Frankovich, The Female has Undergone Several Manifestations III, 2015
Klara Lidén, Warm Up: Hermitage State Theater, 2014
Alicia Frankovich, Revolution (Martini Fountain), 2010