Opening Tonight: Liane Lang Monumental Misconceptions: A Journey through Sculptural Budapest

image/gif icon

Opening Reception Friday, October 1st. Through 3rd October 2010 The Gallery Soho, 125 Charing Cross Road, London.

The fine line between sculpture as an object and as a form of socio-historical interpretation is explored by Liane Lang in her new exhibition Monumental Misconceptions. This award-winning artist challenges society’s conventional understanding of historical monuments by taking a contemporary perspective that re-contextualizes them. Using life-size models and props intermingled with more traditional bronze or steel sculptures, Lang creates unnerving, humorous and thought-provoking installations. This dichotomy of contexts and mediums is further emphasized by capturing these alter-realities using new media such as photography, film and pre-cinematic zoetropes. In 2009 Lang spent a month photographing Soviet era monuments in Budapest. After the fall of communism most Soviet sculptures were quickly removed from the public eye, sometimes ripped from their boots, which were welded to the plinths. In a few places, however, such sculptures can still be found. Many of the visible remnants of Budapest’s communist history were relocated to a suburban field (now the Memento Sculpture Park) by the architect Akos Eleöd, in order to preserve their historic value and save them from destruction. Lang photographed sculptures in several other sites around the city of Budapest during her residency. Included in her forthcoming exhibition are images from the 19th century Kerepeszi cemetery (which also contains many Soviet era graves) and from the running track at Nepstadion. This all but forgotten site of Hungary’s sporting history is surrounded by groups of giant steel plated figures representing sportsmen and soldiers. In the video work The Track Lang animates these figures, apparently frozen in the act of movement, drawing out their strangely ambiguous message of sport and camaraderie, militarism and propaganda.