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About Lindsay Lawson

Born: USA

Lives and works in Berlin, Germany


2009: St├Ądelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany Guest Student
2007: UCLA New Genres Program, Los Angeles, CA MFA
2005: Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA BFA

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Lindsay Lawson

Practice: conceptual / multidisciplinary

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 Lindsay Lawson's body of work references various forms of cultural production - drama, film, music, dance, as well as art itself - in a series of enquiries that encompass both the popular and highbrow, from Shakespearean drama to the Hollywood blockbuster.

Lawson is particularly fascinated by the paradoxical presence of absence: negative space that she seeks to explore (and therefore replete) or somehow fill through intervention.

The title of her video work 'Das Ding' (2010), for example, refers to the Kantian notion of "das Ding an sich" - the thing in itself, which, although it can be known about, cannot be known through experience.

Using the movie 'Ghost' as an unlikely starting point, Lawson's own film refers to the scene in which actor Patrick Swayze (a ghost for most of the movie) helps co-star Demi Moore work a clay vase with the song Unchained Melody playing in the background.

For Lawson, this moment is key to the movie's focus on ghostly presence/non-presence, the walls of the thrown vase gradually forming a negative space which echoes the film's central paradox.

Accordingly, the vase in Lawson's filmic homage is entirely transparent, turned as if by an invisible hand.

'Enter Ghost' (video, 2010), documents a fictitious rehearsal of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' in which an array of problems, from forgotten lines to technical issues, prevent the ghost setting foot onstage.

Reflecting on various states of unbeing and limbo (is a ghost who fails to deliver its lines even more of a ghost? Are two previous appearances, referenced in the play but never witnessed by the audience, an example of a spectre existing in spectral time?) Lawson delves humorously into the core of a play that also famously reflects on the nature of existence ("To be, or not to be"...") .

Two further examples of Lawson's quest to populate absences involve seminal, though scholarly, artworks.

'Lorem Ipsum in a Room' (2011) conflates Alvin Lucier's famous recording 'I Am Sitting in a Room' with the 'absent-presence' of Lorem Ipsum, the meaningless placeholder text used by designers.

The video work 'A.Trio', 2010, attempts to revivify Yvonne Rainer's 1965 dance piece 'A Trio' by means of three 'performers': film documentation of the work itself, a dancer, and her shadow.

Added Feb 2011

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