The hosts, the owners, the ghosts

London-based contemporary art theorist Estere Kajema has written a beautiful essay about murals for Arterritory. I’m grateful that my work has been discussed and assessed among the works of Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ai Weiwei, and Michael Craig-Martin.

There are two very important conclusions in this text. One is about my murals: “By putting images directly onto the walls, Lapschina is almost letting her figures grow free – dogs, magical sword-fighters, gnomes, and even flowers, mountains and trees. These red forms surround and occupy the space, and by doing so they somehow become the hosts, the owners, the ghosts who are attached to the architecture. The characters, which one might be fortunate enough to meet in the stairway of one of these buildings, seem to be participating in some unearthly and transformative performance, completely and utterly revolutionizing the space they are in.”

The other is about the qualities of walls in comparison with relocatable matter: “It is important to understand the crucial difference between a painting or a drawing on a wall, and one done on a piece of paper, canvas, cardboard, or any other surface that can be dismounted or relocated. A message that is conveyed on a wall automatically achieves a different status, even if it happens on a subconscious level. A space that is antipodal to a white cube is a story; it becomes a home, a shelter. A wall that has been transformed by the artist him- or herself is a story and extension of his or her studio work. A voice from beyond, a hint that comes directly from the creator. A thing to remember is that sometimes, walls can tell more than the audience expects them to.”

Read Estere Kajema’s essay here, in Arterritory.

There is a giant in the City of Westminster

I’ve been equipping a central London villa with a mural of considerable size. In fact, it is a multi-part drawing which meanders gently through the space. You are going to meet mountains, and people, and text, and even – in the salon – a giant.

Live smart, cook healthily: The “Smacoo!!” installation

I’ve built a fully fledged tranquil fantasyland of endless gadgetry and enjoyment into the catacombs of a defunct flagship building of the municipal housing company of the city of Vienna, Austria. A commission by the Soho-in-Ottakring foundation for the 2016 edition of their biennial art festival, the piece comprises a three-channel video installation with sound, myriads of smartlife equipment, organic food, all sorts of drinkable liquids, and a considerable amount of interior design craftwomanship.

People entering the “Smacoo!!” installation – the title is a blend of the words smart and cooking – barely found out if they had immersed into a video program, or into the land of free milk and honey, or into a smart laboratory of the future, or into a modern version of Pieter Breughel’s “Luilekkerland”.

All things were interwoven with each other, and while some visitors just fell into trance by watching a looped version of my film “Another ordinary pre-view day at Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte”, others settled on the large sofa where they could screen the one-hour runtime video “The influence of alcoholic drinks on the social intercourse of the intelligentsija”, while their children quickly found out about the super organic meals and dairy everywhere in the room (and also about the trampoline-like qualities of the sofa suite).

Another group of participants seemed to be waiting in front of an apparent oven for the lasagne to be ready and served, although that moment never happened – “Lasagne TV”, an extra-short loop of seventeen seconds on the tiny kitchen-class flat screen.

A series of private-style events poored beautiful people into the installation, and besides all the food processing and cooking, the cool drinks and the hot discussions, there was also time for intense quantify-yourself-activities and video-surveillance aka film-shooting. Results? Soon!

Art in the kindergarten


It took me several white nights to draw this little soulmate. A commission by Rakvere Rohuaia Kindergarten and the Kilomeeter Skulptuuri art-in-public-spaces programme, the mural is about eighteen meters in width and seven meters in height.

“17 Sekunden Kunst” to be screened in NYC

For those who happen to be in New York on March 5: My “17 Sekunden Kunst” (“17 Seconds Of Art”) series is part of The Art Film Festival at the Hunter College!

Swiss curator, critic and art historian Paolo Bianchi, who commissioned the series a while ago for Upper Austria’s OK Centrum, wrote about the piece in the catalogue: “For years, Lena Lapschina has been filming everyday situations while traveling, which oscillate from the absurd to the banal. She uses this to make short videos that present in only 17 seconds art. The films all are dealing with art, but most of all with the perception of art. In the video ‘Once around the block’ a man leaves a party in Vienna City to get some fresh air, takes off his clothes, runs once around the block and puts his clothes calmly back on. A quicker answer to the question ‘What is art?’ is hardly imaginable.”

“17 Sekunden Kunst” for some years had tagged itself an “ongoing series” and comprises two dozens or so stand-alone films and mini-series. At Park Avenue, I’m going to show five pieces: 1. “Artist in residence”: Lena Lapschina’s artist trilogy. 2. “Once around the block” (original title: “Einmal um den Häuserblock”): Vienna, the city of actionism, revisited. 3. “Making friends”: About creation and subjective awareness of a friend. 4. “Bowing takes practice” (original title: “Verbeugungsübung”): Facing the authorities should be well practised. 5. “Eugen’s Appartment”: A mini-soap in 7 episodes.

The Art Film Festival: Saturday, March 5, 2016, 1:00-8:00 PM, Ida K. Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College, 695 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065. “17 Sekunden Kunst” is scheduled at 5:30, followed by a brief Q&A session.

“17 Sekunden Kunst” by Lena Lapschina is available as a limited pizza box edition.

A “Thoughtbook”, full of inspiration

Lapschina_The_Thoughtbook

Thanks to my wonderful supporters, I’m ready to announce the arrival of a new artist’s book. I’ve called it a “Thoughtbook”. It’s full of inspiration. With plenty of empty pages, it invites to draw and to write down thoughts of all kinds. I’ve carefully “curated” fourteen of my favorite works into this book, and two big essays by curators whom I really admire.

“Thoughtbook” appears in a signed and numbered limited edition of 500.

A book launch cocktail in Vienna is scheduled for January 12, 6–9 pm. Location: the brand-new Graetzlhotel at Belvederegasse 26 (directions: here). Menu: Rauch Juicebar Yoga Relax, Stoli Mule, Sizzling Spices Cinnamon Kisses, De Beukelaer Creamy Cookies Bakery, Ethical Coffee, and more…

Lena Lapschina: “Thoughtbook”. 168 pages, 14.8 x 21 cm. With essays by Cathérine Hug and Matt Bowman. Includes 14 works by Lena Lapschina: Money Love, Void, Art is …, Paradise total, Do You Really Need It?, Art-Free Territory, Und plötzlich war es wieder da, C-Level, Stuff, Curators’ Water, Propaganda, Girls wanted, Yes/No, Back On Tuesday.

Biennale – yet again

It is a mosaic, it is a waymark, it is a tape painting, it is digital equipment – my piece for the Mdina Biennale, on the historic ground of Malta. When it catches sight of a smartphone, it comes to life, immerses visitors in an extramundane environment… To give it a try, go to see it on site: The mural is prominently located at the grand staircase of the Cathedral Museum, Mdina, Malta.