Laura Parnes and Dirk van Lieshout

Laura Parnes, Dirk van Lieshout

Amsterdam, 16 Oct - 20 Nov '04

Duo exhibition with an installation by Dirk van Lieshout and video work by Laura Parnes. 


Dirk van Lieshout (The Netherlands, 1973)

Upstream Gallery will show Van Lieshout’s work “NO EXIT”; a rebuilt terminal that will occupy the entire gallery-space. The gallery owner is made part of the installation and visitors are automatically forced to participate in the created situation. With his “NO EXIT” installation Van Lieshout combines architecture, sculpture and live-performance. Van Lieshout re-defines the space by rebuilding a recognizable reality - in this case a part of an airport – and to place this in another context.
At the same time he plays with the idea to break through the public, manipulated behaviour in these spaces. The fascination Van Lieshout has for public places where public behaviour is regulated such as airports, shopping malls, metro stations and waiting rooms was also subject of other recent installations and video. In 2003 he produced the film ‘Fiction Mall’ that was shot in a Rotterdam shopping mall and this year he built an installation for the exhibition ‘Futureways’ in De Vleeshal called ‘Waiting room’, an installation that was inspired by a space in a Tokyo metro station.


Laura Parnes (USA, 1968)

"Blood and Gut's in Prison (episode one)" is the first in a series of video's based on Kathy Acker's "Blood and Gut's in High School". Acker's use of appropriation was conceptually based and critical yet in some aspects she was also fulfilling her desire to write herself into texts that were important to her. It is in this spirit that "Blood and Guts in Prison" is made. "Blood and Guts in Prison" is part homage and part exploration of shifting generational viewpoints about feminism and transgression set in the present political climate dominated by the extreme right.

Laura Parnes's work blurs the boundaries: between film and video canons, such as experimental vs. narrative. Influenced by video artist/director Lynn Hershman Leeson, and by directors such as Cronenberg and George Romero she uses the horror/ sci-fi genre to expresses a cultural malaise the psychological fallout of familial and societal denial. She explores the cultural depression and alienation experienced in an age where everything is caught in complex layers of mediation. She is interested in expressing the disillusionment of a generation raised on hyper-consumerism and media over saturation. Often her videos depict teenagers at an illusion shattering moment. At a point when they discover that what seems like rebellion is actually a marketing devise, or what seems like self-expression is actually a commodity and that in this culture people are disposable, particularly women.