Klara Lidén, "Bodies of Society", exhibition view at New Museum, 2012
Courtesy of New Museum, New York
Photography by Benoit Pailley

Klara Lidén’s first institutional solo show at New Museum

May 18 2012
6:44 PM

Forming derelict, if touching, domestic environments out of cardboard, columns of pried subway posters and other urban ephemera, at this juncture in her career Klara Lidén has almost become a storied packrat artist. “Bodies of Society” at the New Museum is her first large-scale institutional show in New York and inevitably includes her trademark cardboard surfaces and structures, among a slew of other works. Branded as something of a Gordon Matta-Clark-derived urban interventionist, her often solo forays and efforts can be similarly critical, even radical. The New Museum presents several of her videos, in which she comes off as an eccentric, affable, and ghostly heroine at odds with given social patterns and behaviors of city life; In Paralyzed (2003) she seemingly channels Björk’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” video, incongruously bursting into dance on the moribund Stockholm subway; and in The Myth of Progress–Moonwalk (2008) she moonwalks through Manhattan, a loner at night. More recently, Lidén has pulled off incredible architectural alterations, such as carving out whole gallery rooms for pigeons and reviving dozens of discarded Christmas trees at Reena Spaulings Fine Art. Similar ambitions can be seen at the New Museum, and if the past is any indication, they are both bold and strangely prescriptive. (David Everitt Howe)