Notes From Underground / Lisa Tan
Sep 28 – Dec 21, 2017

 

The Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector wrote at dawn, searching for “whatever is lurking behind thought.”

Notes From Underground presents works by Lisa Tan, an American artist now living in Stockholm. The exhibition is presented in the lower galleries at Kunsthall Trondheim and contains a series of three films, each with a female writer at the center, and two installation works, Moving a Mountain (2008) and National Geographic (2009), which precedes the films. Together they form a line of thinking and express the artist’s interest in liminality, in-between-ness.

 

 

 

In a text about her film Waves, Lisa Tan tells us about how she is: “loosening my grip”. She also describes her film as having ”no real origin, merely intersections, shadows” and talks about her desire for unrestricted movement – to follow a rhythm rather than a plot. In this, she echoes Virginia Woolf’s intentions for the novel The Waves, a continuously moving body of text, which on the pages of the book seems to have come to a temporary rest, while still offering the possibility of other constellations of words and images.

Something similar can be said about Lisa Tan’s films Sunsets (2012), Notes From Underground (2013) and Waves (2014). However distinctly edited, they contain a floating element, something unstable and open. Guided by currents and undercurrents, they are constantly eluding you – subjects, histories and memories rise to the surface only to sink away again. Voices appear and are lost.

 

 

 

The first film in the series is built around a TV interview with Clarice Lispector. We hear Lispector’s voice from 1977 together with that of a friend of the artist’s, doing a translation over Skype, both searching for the right words, hesitating, uncertain. The language drifts. Maybe here, through the gap in and between languages, in this state of formlessness, we can briefly perceive what Lispector calls the “it” of the language. Lispector’s words reach us mediated, transformed over time and space. The artist is documenting the process of translation, this gap. Images of Lispector’s face on the computer screen, filmed at dawn and sunset hours, while the conversation with the translator is floating back and forth over the Atlantic. In the twilight, connections and correspondences mix with references to distance, loss and alienation.

While many subjects are touched upon in the films – violence, displacement, societal issues –the question that stays with you is maybe in the end that of artistic practice. What is this – to write, to make art? What kind of language could art speak? Lispector talks about the cruelty of man and declares that the artwork doesn’t alter anything. The films are in a way evolving in search of a possible practice. They stretch out over and beyond the globe, only to return to the artist´s working place – the desk, the computer screens, the everyday.

 

 

Lisa Tan / All photos Aage A. Mikalsen, Kunsthall Trondheim

In this quest, Lisa Tan choses to follow three female writers, Susan Sontag, Clarice Lispector and Virginia Woolf – Sontag’s refusal to reduce art to what could be explained, Lispector’s words about “the it” or “the is of the thing” or “whatever is lurking behind thought.” And Woolf’s concern “with something else” – something else than literature, that is.

 

Notes From Underground / Lisa Tan
September 28 – December 21, 2017 / Kunsthall Trondheim
Please visit the exhibition page >

Two Years into Ukraine
ARTPIL / Prescription .147
More terrible is love in Kyiv than magnificent Venetian passions. Butterflies fly light and maculate into bright tapers. Dead...
+
Federica Patera & Andrea Sbra Perego
A Double Interview
With our work, we aim to shape the creative process: what is represented is not the content of the...
+
Sony World Photography Awards 2024
Winners & Finalists Announced
This diverse selection of photographs in this annual award is a window to the world, revealing fascinating points of...
+
30 Under 30 Women Photographers / 2024
Selections Announced
Artpil proudly announces the 30 Under 30 Women Photographers 2024. For its 15th Edition, this annual selection continues to...
+
BAM Winter/Spring 2024
Jan 15 – Jun 9, 2024
Experience the power of artistic community with BAM’s program. As bands play, dancers whirl, voices raise, and audience members...
+
WAR, and the Declaration of Human Rights
75 year Anniversary
Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family...
+
Nan Goldin: This Will Not End Well
Various Engagements / 2023–2026
Nan Goldin is known not only for her talent and visionary career, but also for her uncompromising social commitment....
+
Boros Collection / Bunker Berlin #4
May 1, 2022 – Ongoing
In the Collection's new presentation #4, the commodification of our physical beings is repeatedly and poignantly objectified. It presents...
+
Two Years into Ukraine
ARTPIL / Prescription .147
More terrible is love in Kyiv than magnificent Venetian passions. Butterflies fly light and maculate into bright tapers.
+
Federica Patera & Andrea Sbra Perego
A Double Interview
With our work, we aim to shape the creative process: what is represented is not the content of the...
+
Sony World Photography Awards 2024
Winners & Finalists Announced
This diverse selection of photographs in this annual award is a window to the world, revealing fascinating points of...
+
30 Under 30 Women Photographers / 2024
Selections Announced
For its 15th Edition, Artpil proudly announces the 30 Under 30 Women Photographers for 2024.
+
BAM Winter/Spring 2024
Jan 15 – Jun 9, 2024
Experience the power of artistic community with BAM’s program. As bands play, dancers whirl, voices raise, and audience members...
+
WAR, and the Declaration of Human Rights
75 year Anniversary
Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family...
+
Nan Goldin: This Will Not End Well
Various Engagements / 2023–2026
Nan Goldin is known not only for her talent and visionary career, but also for her uncompromising social commitment....
+
Boros Collection / Bunker Berlin #4
May 1, 2022 – Ongoing
In the Collection's new presentation #4, the commodification of our physical beings is repeatedly and poignantly objectified. It presents...
+
  • Wong Chung-Wai: Hong Kong After Hong Kong
    Publication
    Gost
    International

    In May 2021, Wong Chung-Wai left Hong Kong with his family to begin a new life in the UK. During the six months prior to their departure he had wandered the city alone using his camera to create an imprint of those things he could not take with him. The photographs in Hong Kong After Hong Kong are Chung-Wai’s visual lament for the city. They show the city’s contradictions – the co-existence of urban infrastructure and nature, the ancient and contemporary (more…)

  • Five Easy Pieces
    Jan 31 – Mar 16, 2024
    Croy Nielsen
    Wien, Austria

    Time is sentient in Five Easy Pieces. Wrapped in their ardent and solemn thoughts these three artists say no more than is necessary. They speak a laconic visual language, for these inductive states are a feeling and a gesture marked by the implacable need to express the presence of a state of being, for a form cannot measure, nor words define the vastness of the ineffable. (more…)