Lena Liv (b. Leningrad, Russia) has been producing poetic and enduring multimedia works since the mid-1980s. Working in a range of mediums - including photography, works on paper and sculpture - her pieces capture a timeless essence and leave the viewer with a residue of memories. She strays far from the obvious, and offers few explanations.
She constructs her work in the form of questions rather than answers, devising a search with no end, a search for the enigmatic. Through her works it is possible to trace the common features, which unravel and develop; such as the idea of universality, which we find in her works from the very beginning until now. The red thread that winds and develops throughout all of her research leads to an archetypal journey of light - obscurity - light that recalls the metaphorical wisdom of classical poems.
Childhood, places of solitude, animal slaughter, folly, dance, happiness and beauty are a great ‘fresco’, that cross the boundaries of a single event to lap the boundaries of universality. In her works, images mysteriously emerge from their context: in all monochrome works darkness alludes to light and works of polychrome light - light does not illuminate the matter but becomes the matter. So photographic works seem to be paintings and paintings seems to be photographic works, and oblivion tells the memory and the memory is oblivion. And dance, a fleeting moment becomes an icon of the mystery of existence.
In this new project Dancing Makes Me Joyful Lena Liv explores the concept of dance as a form of thought: about the body, about the human being, about the world, and about the reciprocal relationship of these elements.
Liv’s works have been exhibited across the globe, most recently her acclaimed Cathedrals for the Masses was shown at the Centro Pecci, Prato,Italy and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In the 1990s, Liv also presented a significant solo presentation Things at Marble Palace at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Stadtgalerie Kiel in Germany and Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Tel Aviv. Solo exhibition If The Shades was not Shades… at the Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg and Leopold - Hoesch Museum, Duren, Germany. In 1994 she showed Silentia Rerum at Stadtische Galerie Wurzburg, Germany. In 2000 Little bit of Blue at the Nassauscher Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, Germany and in 2001 Unprotected at Robert Miller Gallery, New York, USA.
Group exhibitions include venues such as the Museum Moderner Kunst, Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna, Austria; the Kunsthalle Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland, City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand and the Sir Elton John collection at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, USA.
Liv’s work is included in several collections including Diozesanmuseum, Cologne, Germany, Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA, Caldic Collection, Rotterdam, Holland, Collection of Sir Elton John, Atlanta, USA, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel, and Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel.