Tag Archives: installation

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!

Of battery-powered chainsaws, Franz Kafka, curating, and the Art-Free Territory

I’ve sent an image scientist through my latest exhib in Austria, “Home Alone”. Here is what she brought back from the tour:

“Home Alone” is a fifty meter wide media installation, staged at the “Ausstellungsbrücke” (english: “Exhibition Bridge”) in Sankt Pölten, Lower Austria. It involves a “fitness zone”, a “living room”, a “museum”, and a “bar”. Each of these areas provide different levels of involvement to the visitors.

The show starts with a huge wall painting, depicting the exhibition’s intro text and a dozen company logos. Next to it resides the participatory video work “Get Fit With Dr. Lapschina”, which asks the visitors to work out. Stuff for engaging in the vigorous physical exercises is provided – as well as a bunch of museum benches, for people who prefer the lean-back mode.

The living room part of “Home Alone” has a comfy sofa suite, a large screen, several framed pictures on the walls, three lightboxes, a couple of books and catalogues on a coffee table, a hammock, and a bottle of wine to offer. The pictures don’t show anything though. They are only reminders. Also these aren’t regular lightboxes. Their role is to provide a distinct atmosphere to the place. And while the TV presents a 3′ loop version of Lena Lapschina’s video piece “Runtime”, it’s just the camo jacket for the smart home components everywhere in the room.

So, why not spend some time in the museum? Meticulously arranged vitrines give an impression of life in Lower Austria, in Manhattan or in Brooklyn, or elsewhere on this planet. It’s about dreams and nightmares, art and artists, battery-powered chainsaws and Franz Kafka, curating and the “Art-Free Territory”. It’s not immediately clear if the assemblage should be entertaining or disturbing. Like all museum stuff, in the first place it is educating, and that is what visitors find out during extended conversations in the bar and kitchen areas built into the flow of the “Home Alone” installation.

Runtime

“Runtime” is a two-channel video installation with sound. It oscillates between the topics of time and tension, energy and inner strength. The two projections, which are placed at right angles, seem to be influenced by context. Watched in the daytime or in the nighttime, tonalities vary. I’ve been installing “Runtime” for the first time in the course of a private view in Kunsthalle Kleinbasel (Switzerland). There’s also a limited photo series of “Runtime” available.

“Waymarks & Dialogues” at Mardin Bienali

“İşaretler ve Diyaloglar” (“Waymarks & Dialogues”) is a situation-specific work for the 3rd Biennial in Mardin. Here, on the verge of Turkey, in the northernmost part of Mesopotamia, I’ve met with people and listened to conversations in order to record the most contemporary words in the various languages of Mardin. These words I’ve mounted in the medieval part of the city, in the narrow 1. Cadde (1st Lane), starting at the massive walls of Mor Efrem Manastırı. Intertwined with a series of lightboxes, which hide in the tiny workshops along 1. Cadde, a mythological footpath is formed. Visitors can discover both their history – and their destination.

Some seldom shown pieces reunited for open studio show

During Vienna Art Week, I had a mini-show in a twelve-room apartment aka the Viennese studio. Old friends, like my neon sign “Girls wanted”, the pizza-boxed video series “17 Sekunden Kunst”, the Wittmann-manufactured cushions “Art-Free Territory” and the Mercedes-Benz tribute photo series “Communication”, joined forces with brand new stuff, like the installation “Curators’ Water”, the light-boxed photo series “Some things that long time do not exist” (Duratrans, light-box, crank), the xerography-inspired, Teheran-produced work “Role Models” (edition: 1), the photographed alphabet “Trees and poets, citified” (Dibond) and the post-future of painting series “Stuff”. Visitors also got a chance to preview the video series “Message to the World” while hanging out at the bar, and to engage in the participatory media installation “Get Fit With Dr. Lapschina”.
N.B.: “Thank you” to everyone who made this exhib possible, and especially to Mario Codognato for more than an hour of questions and answers.

How artists can improve your work-life balance

For my recent show in the Tyrolean capital Innsbruck I married interior design with work-life balance with art. The blend was called “Einrichtungsberatung” – essentially a system of interior design and visual arts theory and therapy.

The installation, at Schauraum für zeitgenössische Kunst und Design, assembled work related elements – like the filing cabinet “Ordnungshalber” – and stuff for having fun – like the video work “The influence of alcoholic drinks on the social intercourse of the intelligentsija” (a piano-inspired TV-rack, a 56′ film, TV and DVD) – to an out-of-this-world living room.

Although I resisted to bring some of my paintings, the mansion was fully equipped with distinctive Lapschina-isms.

Ready to roll: “Ziel erreicht”

It apparently arrived from outer space. “Destination reached,” a monitor is breathing monotonously. It’s unclear if the message ever will be decoded.

A new piece – actually a three-channel video installation with sound.

Lapschina_Ziel_erreicht
“Ziel erreicht”
media installation
2013
[exhibition view, Kunsthalle Exnergasse at the WUK, Vienna]