Opening, May 12, 2016, 7 pm
Exhibition, May 13 – June 24, 2016
Kris Lemsalu uses masquerade as a means of expression when staging her performances and installations. The artist spirits us away to a fantasy world, where she however grapples with universal concerns of today such as desire, sexuality and transformation. Drawing on a feminist tradition of performance and staged photography, she combines disparate elements such as human and animal body parts made of ceramic with skins, fabric and garments. Her image cosmos is populated by hybrid creatures that paraphrase ancient mythologies and resonate with ritual elements from different cultures. In her self-portraits, Lemsalu often re-invents herself as a being with both male and female characteristics. Deftly combining textiles, makeup, wigs and other props, the artist creates exotic temporary identities, which can be used for a specific purpose and then discarded again. An obsessive spirit is inherent in these “performances,” which is in turn counterbalanced by intelligence and a sense of humor, allowing for a nomadic roaming from one scene to the next. Life experience and the field of art meld into a single inseparable unity. The stagings are fluid and designed to incorporate constant change and potential rearrangement.
Kris Lemsalu (b. Estonia, 1985) lives and works in Tallinn and Wien.
Curated by Hemma Schmutz.