KASSEL.- The artistic work of Klara Lidén can be described as a strong and cheeky conglomerate of energy, activism, liveliness, instinct, but
also of acrimony, disappointment and worry constantly in search of breaking with the social conventions. No matter if she is performing or working actionistically with room structures, installations or video, she always knows how to involve the recipient physically and mentally in a very clever but gentle way. Physically when the visitor is requested to climb up filigree and waggle room constructions made out of cardboard and corrugated metal sheets in order to reach the integrated hidden video - mentally when she is confronting the viewer with images and topics which can even be quite awkward. Very fast it becomes clear, that civil disobedience plays a major role in all her works, though it is sometimes subtle, just slightly indicated.
For the artistic implementation Klara Lidén often uses multi-media based installations created out of simple everyday objects, which she either finds in her living area or close to the exhibition space. This way she designs accessible, often narrowed room constructions out of cardboard, corrugated metal sheet, foils and pipes in which she integrates video- or sound works. Especially the videos in which she takes over the acting part herself gained famousness. In Paralyzed (2003) for instance she dances, jumps and brachiates completely uninhibited and uncoerced in a commuting train right in front of the other passengers. Her focus not necessarily lays on the reaction of these passengers, but much more on leaving her body the free will and to express her accumulated anger and resentment. Also the video 550 Jamaica Avenue (2004) is a proof for a strong social criticism and the rejection of the established social codes of discipline, when the camera is leading the recipient into an apartment completely stuffed with furniture, books, pictures, notes and all other kinds of junk. Very early one can hear a disharmonic mix of speaking and singing, coming from the artist who either sits at a piano or pedals on her home trainer. Her upper body is naked, but by only presenting her back to the audience the gender keeps a secret. In the video Ohyra (2007) the artist appears as an extremely vulnerable person in a kitchen. This time she is turning her naked upper body towards the viewer, she seems to be confused, displeased and angry. Detached from the everyday functioning and understanding she acts eccentric, impetuous and auto aggressive, while she is hitting herself in the face.
Another form of revolt, which captivates through sensibility and a discrete charm, is Klara Lidéns photo series Self Portrait from 2004. You see the artist resting against a balustrade in a very relaxed manner; her wide open coat reminds a bit of the illicit trade with watches and jewellery, but now it reveals a series of tools usually applied in burglary and theft crimes.
The entirety of Klara Lidéns work is not only characterized by a profound sense for the combination of time and the events of the day, artistic expression and material, but also by an extreme passionate and focused energy, which testifies a light heartedness though the topics are often rather depressing. Klara Lidén is and stays a rebel.
At the Fridericianum, the young Swedish artist has created an enterable spatial construction combined with a new video that touches on, influences, and deludes physical and psychical perceptions.