Hanna Liden Ghost Stories


June 8 – July 20, 2012

WORKSHOP – Dorsoduro, 2793/a 30123 Venezia

Try never sleeping and always moving: it deletes thought. Images mark time like pins on a map: tangled, drifting links in a chain. Sometimes I don’t know if I’m passing through walls or they’re passing through me. Passed over, passed out: a body buried under the sidewalk, memory corroded and threaded dully along, dug up and packed away in a cement knapsack. A cold case. A thud of recognition in a heart cut out and stained deep black. I’d prefer not to remember anyway.’

Kayla Liden’s sculptures and photographs explore what people have left behind, human debris in all its forms, giving what remains an unnatural permanence through resin and paint. Cans, jackets, shoes and trash bags are manipulated, solidified and displayed as a memorial to all yesterday’s parties, giving the viewer a distorted insight into what has been before without naming names. Liden is interested in the movement of people, she has herself transplanted several times before settling on and in New York, and Ghost Stories is a work of displacement, this time transporting New York’s debris half way around the world to a 15th century building in Venice, telling (ghost) stories to new folks about old folks who were never even there.

Hanna Liden, the New York–based photographer by way of Stockholm andLondon, makes pictures that are hard to pin down. Their deliberate elusiveness is part of the charm that made the curators of the 2006 Whitney Biennial and the gallerists of Rivington Arms fall for her images. Liden has an uncanny ability to marry pagan naturalism with a Lord of the Flies-esque apocalyptic abandon but not without a sense of humor. Her atheist Scandinavian upbringing and love of horror movies sheds light onto her sharpened aesthetic. “My parents are scientists, and I grew up without religion — almost against religion — in a socialist society,” she says. “So I had an attraction or envy for people who believed in heaven and afterlife and stuff like that. I used to be obsessed with death but not so much anymore.” If her pictures with masks, surreal landscapes and self-invented symbolism – tell a story, that’s because Liden assembles the shots like a film director, complete with actors and props. “I’m influenced by cinema more than contemporary art. I love [Ingmar] Bergman. I grew up with him. My grandmother really liked him, but my parents thought he was too conservative. I also love David Lynch and David Cronenberg.” The Swedish shutterbug is currently working on a book of photos that didn’t make the cut for various exhibits and predicts she’ll make a film sooner or later. “I used to read a lot of science-fiction books when I was young. My pictures are influenced by dystopia after a catastrophe, but they are also very idealistic,” says our Bergmanian heroine.

Image above: Hanna Liden, The Longest Day, 2012, Denim on stretcher bars 21 x 20 x 1.5 inches each panel, Overall dimensions variable


Hanna Liden

Captain Bottle, 2012

Concrete, painted birch plywood

9 x 11 x 15 inches


Hanna Liden

Flower sniffin kitty pet tin baby kissin corporate rock whores, 2012

T-shirt, latex paint, wire, painted birch plywood

21 x 22 x 10 inches


Hanna Liden

Bug, 2012

Pants, latex paint, painted birch plywood, 30 x 30 x 10 inches


Hanna Liden

Skullz, 2011

Concrete, Dimensions variable

To be titled, 2012

Light boxes, light bulbs,and electrical cords

72 x 24 inches


Hanna Liden

Skullz, 2011

Concrete, Dimensions variable