Currently on display at Maccarone in New York is a group of new photographic works by Swedish artist Hanna Liden. Entitled I hope these ruin a perfectly bad day, the series of still life photos repurpose her urban leitmotifs as makeshift vases for brightly colored flowers. The exhibition will continue through June 21, 2014.
Sculpture almost always plays an important role in Liden’s process. She often takes handmade and found objects and composes them into tableaus to photograph. The objects are displaced from their original environment and repurposed to create new meaning. Sometimes she alters the objects, and other times leaves them exactly how they were, but the pieces are almost always brought together by Liden herself, incorporating her unique artistic perspective into the final presentation. Thus, her practice is built on the relationship between the street and the studio, denying objects their original functionality and giving them new life as artworks.
The works here incorporate a running interest in vases, and the presentation of flowers, drawing their strength from the comical dissonance between the colorful flowers and their less than savory containers. Plastic bags and shoes are used to house brightly colored sunflowers, tulips and roses, drawing on the immediate reactions of classical still life, and immediately subverting them.
At the same time, Liden’s works seem tied to the artist’s own everyday experience and interaction. Within the photographs is an apparent element of Liden’s sensitivity to space and composition as a sculptural artist, as well as her ability as a photographer to frame subjects – sculpting the works in their interaction with the light and space of the studio. The photographs seem to represent small narratives of her own personal as well as cultural associations and perspectives, and while the works remain wholly embedded in their own consumer iconography, Liden’s hand never strays far from their final presentation. Even the titling of the works seems to allude back to certain personifications and experiences Liden seems to tie into the works themselves. The result is a series of images that are highly personal accounts of her own experience of city street life.
I hope these ruin a perfectly bad day opened on April 25th and will continue at Maccarone on 98 Morton Street through June 21, 2014.
Exhibition Page [Maccarone]