Photofusion Member: Liane Lang

Liane Lang’s work takes the form of print, film and installation. Her work is peopled with figures and props, life-like yet not real, which she creates in the studio. She poses these semi-inhabitants in historical spaces and with monuments and statues, creating narratives and references to historic individuals and events. She is interested in the role of figurative sculpture, which is often imbued with special powers, such as religious figures, which become the subject of devotion, political monuments which come to embody on a large scale the dictator represented. Recent series of works have focused on Iconoclasm, the destruction of hated dictators by the mob or the destruction of the symbols of one regime by another.

Re-framing and re-contextualising these objects and spaces is intended as an oblique strategy to re-activate histories and memories and to allow the objects to shake off the visual and ideological cliché, revealing buried atmosphere and characteristics. In this process the work visualizes the absence of its protagonists, the makers, financiers and subjects implicit in the object. The object itself gives little away about its role at the moment of inception, as becomes most apparent with ancient and classical sculptures. In Lang’s images the fake, the human-like figure, takes the place of the human subject, allowing us to ponder the nature of sculpture, the registers of animation it contains and the role it plays in the narrative and experience of history.

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Liane completed a residency in 2010 at Memento Sculpture Park in Budapest where she made sculptural interventions with the Socialist monuments in the park as well as monuments and sculptures around the city. The life-like figures employed in the work are latex casts made in the studio. The artist’s strategy for intervention in Budapest was to approach figures that are monumental in scale and oppressive both in their physical presence as well as in their original locations, with life-size objects and figures, attempting to re-animate and re-activate these historical objects. Drawing attention to the inherent properties of the objects, the absence of women and the nostalgic aesthetic they seem to be acquiring. In the video piece The Track, the giant sculptures surrounding a Socialist era running track are filmed in timelapse. The film is a passive animation, bringing the figures to life through use of sound and surrounding motion. In 2010 Lang undertook a residency followed by and exhibition facilitated through the curator Zane Onckule in Riga. She created a series of works using the sculptures and monuments around the city, particularly the Soviet era monuments and buildings. The project resulted in an installation work titled Mesmeric Monument.