I come in you - The Party Sequel (Berlin)
For her first solo exhibition in Berlin1 I come in you - The Party Sequel (Berlin)2 Lisa Holzer shows The Party Sequel (Berlin). The Party Sequel (Berlin) follows a series of pictures of smeared puréed lentils evoking shit and concrete in shapes inspired by Morris Louis’ 1950s Veils series, merely transformed to portrait format, and pictures of sticky white sugar icing in similar shapes. Kari Rittenbach referred to them as paintings.
The Party Sequel (Berlin) are pictures of puréed potatoes and peas and pictures of differently coloured sugar icing in whose sticky, soggy surfaces I am sometimes mirrored. You. I am in the middle of your picture3. A somehow crooked narcissus-idea plays here as well. The pictures are pigment prints on cotton paper framed in exclusive white varnished frames in the size of torsos-plus-aura. Both mashed potatoes pictures are a little too pale.
The shapes of the puréed potatoes, peas, and the coloured sugar icing are freer interpretations of the Veils shapes and/or inspired by two watercolours by my little son.
That process, sounds and all, of puréeing, spreading and smearing and photographing these carefully overcooked lumpy potatoes and peas, which - instead of shit and concrete - evoke or should evoke only shitty-sweet regression, is very satisfying. As is the whisking of icing, coloured or not.
Food has to do with body, and desire, and destruction, and painting as well.
What do I tell, the pictures me? Are they weak enough? Vulgar? And how frustrated, resentful, aggressive, how passive-aggressive is I come in you, if at all? Would these pictures fail as abstract expressive or be taken up in the contradictions of Abstract Expressionism respectively its hangovers? Are these pictures paintings or how much paintings? Are they beautiful?
What kind of echo is this? What a party!? Does this second part answer the first?
Apparently Louis was a loner, they say he had few friends and rarely discussed his art with anyone, not even his wife.
And the other bodies? Do the pictures transport my dark or at least rather ambivalent view on parties? I have difficulties with/at parties. I have difficulties with a certain way of happiness or lightness. What is the common ground thing? What do parties have to do with regression? It still seems wrong to me to work at parties. As teenager I cried a lot at parties.
Emily Sundblad said: “But I think also people drink too much to really cause a revolution. They get too drunk, and they cannot do anything.”4
And who gets invited? Together with Trevor Lee Larson I am invited to do a performance for the Special Program of this years' Art Berlin for VIPs, at least they got invited first. This is a VIP dream. And another border/edge/verge (Rand) of this exhibition, of me.
Morris Louis is dead. Others die too. Photography as painting has a connection to death. Language anyway.
Édouard Louis writes: “Years later, while reading the biography of Marie-Antoinette by Stefan Zweig, I will remember the people who lived in the village where I grew up, my mother in particular, when Zweig speaks of all the furious women, worn out by hunger and poverty, who, in 1789, descended upon Versailles to protest and who, at the sight of the monarch, spontaneously cried out Long live the King!: their bodies - which had spoken for them - torn between absolute submission to power and an enduring sense of revolt.”5
I am still interested in surfaces and the question what a picture is, a picture constitutes. Its instability, elasticity or permeability and silence. Its borders/edges/verges (Ränder) and mine. The pictures cry. Sometimes colour passes, permeates the glass, comes out of the picture. Do they puke a little? I don't know (exactly) why they puke, or cry. All is leaky and leaks through. Crying as readymade and puking as well. And the not coated glass of the frames mirrors everything. You?
My mascara is smeared or theirs. Runs, literally.
The gallery's toilet's body sweats/cries in a permanent installation. Look what I did!
Intensities visualise in more or less amounts of rather different liquids. What is it with tears? How transformative is crying? I am interested in crying as bodily expression, action, as means of transition, communication, as one border/edge/verge (Rand) of me, my face, my work, as leakage or readymade, crutch, ..
We'll cry, maybe. As crying, as one border/edge/verge (Rand) of my work, my face/of me or as some kind of door, is, what I am currently thinking about. I want to touch something. My pictures cry, after they sweated for some time now. How do they, I act on the world?
Sometimes there is no border/edge/verge (Rand).
I feel cheesy, moody, needy, ashamed as an artist. Porous like a door. A hustler. How regressive are things? How porous am I? How involved? What comes with tears, matters? And what do I not say/see, avoid, again, in order to go on, forward? as artist?? What recurs? Hesitation? I used to cry a lot at parties.
Anger and sadness live in suspended relation. And do get mixed up.
I come in you.
The Party Sequel (Berlin) is accompanied by I cry., an even chattier version of this press release in the form of a poster.
An edition of crying champagne glasses are available via the gallery.
Lisa Holzer, Summer 2017
1I live here for 9 years.
2The Party Sequel (Paris) featuring pictures of puréed black beans and carrots alongside other pictures of coloured icing will be on view at Galerie Emanuel Layr at Fiac 2017 in Paris this October.
3»I am in the middle of your picture« is a line from All I need by Radiohead, first cited in Vier Pressetexte (2009), and then again in I am not there (2011). I am in the middle of your picture was the title of my first solo show at Galerie Emanuel Layr in 2011.
4But I think also people drink too much to really cause a revolution. They get too drunk, and they cannot do anything. Emily Sundblad in WELCOME TO THE TATE CAFÉ a conversation between Merlin Carpenter, Emily Sundblad and John Kelsey. Paris, March 2012.
5Édouard Louis, The End of Eddy, Harvill Secker, Vintage, 2017. penguin.co.uk/vintage. The original edition was published in 2014, entitled En finir avec Eddy Bellegeule, Editions du Seuil, Paris.