Representing Israel at the 2011 Venice Biennale, Tel Aviv-based artist Sigalit Landau employs performance, installations, objects, and films to examine philosophical and political questions rooted in her homeland. Her work can be both challenging and poetic. Her 2007 project, Cycle Spun, shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, included both the short video Barbed Hula, which the artist performs using a hula-hoop fashioned from barbed wire, and DeadSee, a video depicting Landau floating nude in a spiral of watermelons — the green of the skin and vivid red of the flesh contrasting with the azure blue of the water, which comes to dominate the screen as the watermelons slowly float away.
In this video, Landau talks about her work at the Israeli pavilion in Venice, with additional commentary about the installation from curators Jean de Loisy and Ilan Wizgan.
For his first short film, a 90-second motion portrait of Lindsay Lohan, Richard Phillips draws on the conventions of his painting that explore the legacies of classical portraiture in relation to the mediated representations of contemporary popular culture.
The film depicts Lohan in a number of classical poses, with references to iconic moments in film, such as Brigitte Bardot smoldering in Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt, or the searing psychosexual interplay of Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullman in Ingmar Bergman’s Persona. To create a timeless and psychologically charged Hollywood setting, Phillips repurposed a remote Malibu mansion, but freighted it with the speculative desire of contemporary cinematic performance.
Flagration by Gilbert & George
About the Collection
The Venice Biennale is one of the most important – and longest running – art events in the world, which is why Artspace is celebrating it with our Venice Biennale Collection. Every two years, participating countries select an artist, or group of artists, to present work in one of 29 permanent pavilions located in the architectural marvels of the Renaissance Italian city.
Orla by Sigalit Landau
About the Work
Orla is a limited edition photographic print derived from Sigalit Landau’s 2000-04 project, Somnambulin/Bauchaus, in which the artist transformed a truck-mounted concrete mixer into a traveling music box, from which she distributed popsicles in the shape of the Little Matchstick Girl. It is an interpretation of the Hans Christian Andersen story in which, on a cold New Year’s Eve, a poor girl tries to sell matches in the street, and must light them to warm herself. She strikes one match after another, eventually freezing to death.