Back on Tuesday

Dresden is celebrating the 8th edition of “Ostrale – Internationale Ausstellung zeitgenössischer Künste”, and I was asked to deliver an in situ work right at the entrance of this huge show at the old (and famous) slaugtherhouse. I did use tape again – red tape, to be precise.

The piece covers about 70 square meters. It shows a young lady, ornamental elements and a “writing on the wall” (which suggests that the artist might have vanished before completion). I could have called it “Selbstbildnis mit Auerhahn” (“Self portrait with grouse”), which would have been kind of correct. But I thought I should place emphasis on the text part. The display tag now says “Back on Tuesday”.


Some things that long time do not exist

Visitors of the “Behausung” exhibition in Sëlva, Italy, will find a new photo series of mine: “Some things that long time do not exist”. Six photographs, assembled into a diorama-style lightbox and switched by means of a crank, are dealing with the subject of leaving – and leaving something behind. Catalogue in German, Italian and Ladin languages.

War Artist in Residence

A new tape drawing I’ve done in Greifswald reflects the re-enactment of Abu Ghraib in Ukraine. The mural in the tradition of war artists bears the title “Und plötzlich war es wieder da”. It is part of this year’s “conquering places” art laboratory.

Lena Lapschina: “Vienna, Germany.”

I’m in the “Copie non conforme” group show at Kunstraum Niederösterreich, an artistic appropriation-, adaptation- and referentiality-themed exhibit in the Austrian capital Vienna. You can see there my work “Wien, Deutschland.” (“Vienna, Germany.”).

Initially produced for “zufallsvernissage”, the work since then gained size and volume: The mural’s footprint quadrupled. And the new video documentation of the expurgation performance, staged on October 13th last year, seems to be a great escort. Only the photo series remained, of course, unchanged. On view until March 15th.

A catalogue has been published to accompany the exhibition. Here’s the (German) text:

Lena Lapschina hat eine neue Werkgruppe mit dem Titel “Wien, Deutschland.” erarbeitet. Dabei setzt sie nacheinander die Medien Photographie, Wandbild und Video ein, um das Wahrnehmungsvermögen der Betrachter zu testen und die Kognition zu stimulieren.

Ausgangspunkt ist eine 7-teilige Photographie-Serie in kunstmarktüblicher Acrylausstattung, mit der Lena Lapschina die Betrachter verführt, in eine europäische Großstadt einzutauchen. Die einzelnen Beiträge dieser Serie werden von wiederkehrenden Codes, die wie zufällig auf jeder der Photographien vermerkt sind, zusammengehalten.

Lena Lapschina sammelt in einem zweiten Schritt diese Codes, die sie für unpassend hält, penibel ein, vergrößert sie, färbt sie tiefrot und appliziert sie nun auf die Wand des Ausstellungsraums. Dadurch werden aus der Sicht der Künstlerin die Photographien geläutert, während gleichzeitig ein mit einer politischen Message aufgeladenes Wandbild monumental vor die Betrachter tritt. Tatsächlich eignet sich Lena Lapschina hier ein im Wiener Stadtraum allgegenwärtiges Logo an, das die stadteigenen Betriebe “Wiener Wohnen” und “Wiener Linien” auf Gemeindebauten und Bushaltestellen seit mehreren Jahren zur Identitätsstiftung benutzen.

Die Künstlerin lässt die Angelegenheit freilich nicht einfach im Raum stehen, sondern setzt auch in Bezug auf das Mural eine Intervention. In einer Performance, deren Aufzeichnung im Kunstraum Niederösterreich auf einem Großbildschirm zu sehen ist und die unzweifelhaft Bezüge zu bestimmten historischen Ereignissen auf österreichischem Boden herstellt, nimmt sie Sühne auf sich, indem sie minutenlang die “(un)beglaubigte Kopie” mit der Reibbürste traktiert.

Voilà! I’ve also got a (short) text in English (written on the occasion of the “zufallsvernissage”):

Famed for her systematic investigation into housing and social issues in the context of major city planning malfunctions, Lena Lapschina is unveiling a cycle of seven photographs titled “Wien, Deutschland.” (“Vienna, Germany.”). In an attempt of expurgating the photography, the artist collects all the unsuitable matter and attaches it to the gallery walls, thus creating another giant in situ tape drawing. Now the wall needs to be cleansed of the indecent words: In a performance evocative of events in the 1930s, Lena Lapschina endlessly scrubs the gallery wall. (A documentation of the performance piece is available in 1080p.)


Lena Lapschina­­­­
“Wien, Deutschland.”
[Entwurf einer künstlerischen Gestaltung des Vorstands­sitzungssaals in der neuen Zentrale von Wiener Wohnen.]
Wandbild aus Spezialklebeband, 4 x 4 m
[Ausstellungsansicht Kunstraum Niederösterreich]


Lena Lapschina­­­­
“Wien, Deutschland.”
Video-Dokumentation der Reinigungs-Performance, 4:26 min

Lena Lapschina­­­­
“Vienna, Germany.”
[Sketch of the proposed design for a mural in the boardroom at Wiener Wohnen headquarters.]
tape drawing on wall, 4 by 4 m
[installation view]


Lena Lapschina­­­­
“Vienna, Germany.”
video documentation of the expurgation performance, 4:26 min


Lena Lapschina­­­­
“Wien, Deutschland.”
7-teilige Photographie-Serie.
83 x 125 cm. Auflage 1/3.

Lena Lapschina­­­­
“Vienna, Germany.”
A cycle of seven photographs.
83 by 125 cm. Edition of three.

Confessions of a media artist

A Viennese off-space, basically a shopfront composed of eighteen identical shop windows, is home to my latest media work of art. With “Propaganda”, I’m showing honour and reverence for the city’s great past in shop architecture.

The installation indeed is begging for the attention of passers-by, like any good window-dressing – but purely to bewilder them. Thanks to 5832 LED lamps switched at a speed of 30 cycles per second, I put visitors into a trance-like state, leave them in this state for a minute, and then slowly start to enlighten them as to what this is. The word “PROPAGANDA” appears, in glowing capital letters. And a confession: “LENA LAPSCHINA”. Smoke. Loop.

On view every day through Feb. 28th from dusk to midnight.

Note to conservators: This media installation uses 18 off-the-shelf Cielos Move LED panels, 5 Video Control Units, approx. 100 m of Ethernet wire, and a portion of Zumtobel-proprietary software.

“Propaganda”: 25 metres of shop window present the media installation to passers-by.

Please tap or click on any photo for a full-screen experience.

Tour of duty: the Saigon “Road Show” photo session

Here’s a fleeting glimpse of “Road Show”, a photo series I shot during my recent stay in Vietnam.

The mise en scène queries the endeavours of museums to help visitors more fully engage with the art on view and to offer a range of opportunities for visitors to experience and share ideas about works of art, including through one-on-one discussion with the artist herself.

Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City) with its latest style of masks and motor scooters provided an extragalactic backdrop for this photo shoot.

Strolling through an exhibition, musing on brands

For this year’s “Parallel Vienna”, a side-event associated with the Viennafair, curated by Stefan Bidner, I decided to produce a work which at first glance looks like a hand-painted sponsor wall. 160 cm wide and 230 cm tall, “Wall of Honor” plays with the visitors’ perception of the world. They look at a painting, but they think about brands.

And these are the brands and companies who made the ultimate sacrifice for an artful society: ABSOLUT VODKA, AIKYOU Green Fashion Underwear, all i need, austria kultur int, Austrian Consulate General Los Angeles, austrian cultural forum, АВСТРИЙСКИЙ КУЛЬТУРНЫЙ ФОРУМ МОСКВА, BelVita, BMUKK, brösel keks, CAPITA, Clemens Strobl Weinmanufaktur, dade design concrete works, Duracell, Eastpak, Emporia, forum culturel autrichien, forumul cultural austriac, GASTROBACK, gössl, HEAD, Henkel Excellence is our Passion, JACK WOLFSKIN, JVC The Perfect Experience, Kotanyi, Kultur Niederösterreich, Leutner Bildwerkstatt, LIMAR The Helmet Specialist, LUDWIG REITER, Mautner Markhof, Mozart, MWV, Nespresso, NOKIA Connecting People, Olmeca, Österreich Wein, österreichisches kulturforum, Pro-Ject Audio Systems, RedBull, Roeckl, scentair, Skiny, SKROSS, SodaStream, Sonnentor, Sony Xperia, Stabilo, Stiegl, Stölzle-Oberglas, Szigeti, tesa, Thurn und Taxis, TRUMPF, Villeroy & Boch, VIVOBAREFOOT, Vöslauer, Waldviertler, Wien Energie, Willi Dungl, Wolford.