Liane Lang

Liane Lang is a mixed media artist with a focus on the conversation between sculpture and photography. In her work she frequently prints images onto objects to explore the tension between the narrative and historical and the texture, scale and presence of the object. Lang takes a particular interest in monuments, statues and historic spaces and uses a wide range of materials from bark, lead and leather to marble and bronze. Born in Germany, Lang was partly raised in the US. She studied at National College of Art and Design in Dublin, took a BA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London, and an MFA at the Royal Academy Schools, London graduating in 2006. She lives and works in the East End of London. She has exhibited widely both in the UK and internationally, including the Royal Academy of Arts, Musée de Beaux Arts Calais, PS1 New York, Kunstwerke, Berlin and Kunstverein Heidelberg. She won the Photofusion Award, the Tooth Travel Award and the Selina Cheneviere Prize. In 2019 she completed a sixmonth fellowship at Fundacion BilbaoArte in Spain. 2021 has seen a solo show in London at James Freeman Gallery and a residency with Ampersand Foundation and the Wirksworth
Festival which culminated in a major installation in 2022. In 2022 she collaborated with musician Philipp Schlotter on a video, sound and sculptural performance at the Museo Guggenheim in Bilbao as part of the Toparte program. In 2019 she exhibited a major installation at Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany as part of Come Back and at James Simon Gallery, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, as part of Nah am Leben. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections, such as Royal Academy of Arts, MoMA, V&A, The Art Institute of Chicago, Arts Council England, the Saatchi Collection, Deutsche Bank, Kunstverein Bregenz, Ernst and Young and the Collection of the Kunstamt Spandau, Berlin. Lang’s work engages with monuments and memory, seeking to tell material histories and connect lived experience to objects and images.


A Tenuous Occupation ( Featured in Animating the New Hero) 

The VEF Palace in Riga is a palatial building in the Stalin Baroque style. Liane Lang was on a residency in the City in 2010 and collaborated with a group of women on a sequence of animations. Destined for a multi channel video installation the project remained unfinished and has been retrieved from the archives for this exhibition.

Heroism here is about setting foot into a new society and attempting to shape it. The dancers had all borrowed clothing from the Communist era from friends and family and we proceeded to create this choreography around a forbidding and usually forbidden space. Security looked on askance at the inappropriate behaviour, but didn’t intervene. We reference a Kafkaesque bureaucracy and complex system of restrictions and permissions through the experience of women who occupied the halls of power as cleaners and administrators, maintaining a servicing a system through its collapse.

The residency happened right after the financial crash and Latvia was economically in difficulties. The women I worked with told me all the men their age had left and were working abroad. A massive source of anxiety was whether or not one would manage to get married. Many superstitions related to this, don’t sit at the corner of the table or don’t eat the end of the bread or you won’t marry for seven years. Twelve years have passed by now. The performers are Baiba Klints Arta Miķelsone Rūta Nordmane Kate Pāvula Alise Putniņa Ilze Sirmā Elīze Tīkmane. The residency was facilitated by curator Zane Onckule.