Pillars Sliding off Coat-ee

Best & Boldest #1: Daiga Grantina

January 28 - April 2, 2017, Opening: January 27, 7 pm

Daiga Grantina, Buff in Bloom, Glow and Thumos, 2016
Installation view from Paris Internationale, Galerie Joseph Tang Photography: Aurélien Mole
Daiga Grantina, Pharmakon and Being pool/Buff, 2016, heap-core,,, kim? Contemporary Art Center, Riga, installation view, 2016Daiga Grantina, Buff in Flight, 2016, heap-core,,, kim? Contemporary Art Center, Riga, installation view, 2016 Flight, heap-core,,, kim? Contemporary Art Center, Riga, installation view, 2016Daiga Grantina, heap-core,,,, 2016, heap-core,,, kim? Contemporary Art Center, Riga, installation view, 2016Daiga Grantina, Autocorrect, Vienna, installation view, 2016

In cooperation with Neue Kunst in Hamburg e.V., the Kunstverein is pleased to present the young artist Daiga Grantina (*1985 in Riga, Latvia) with her first major solo exhibition in Germany. The show marks the start of the Kunstverein’s Best & Boldest series featuring a variety of young artists who work in all media and with different convictions, but have one thing in common: the multifaceted engagement with questions of our reality.

Grantina creates rampant sculptures out of perforated and alterable surfaces that despite their apparent monumentality convey a fragile lightness. Supposed opposites such as liquid and solid or soft and hard are abolished. The semitransparent climb and creep through the exhibition space in constant metamorphosis. In her artistic practice, Grantina refers to the long tradition of painting and sculpture, for example, engaging in an earlier series with the painting The Mountain by the notorious artist Balthus, whose characters she transferred to three-dimensionality and disassembled into amorphous shapes. Grantina’s works navigate in the field of tension between the dissolution and evolution of forms, thus appearing as a transferal of informal painting to space.

The voluptuous sculptures function as organisms made of industrial materials and knick-knacks. PVC, ventilation pipes, iridescent wires, and cable ties assume allegorical functions as organs or bowels, referring to the technical augmentations of the body today. A current series of works—the so-called Buffs—are installed like cocoons as bundles between the floor and ceiling. They appear as exoskeletons or shell-like bodies of inflated elastane hardened by a coat of liquid plastic. The show is supplemented by new works, with which the artist makes reference to the chaos-theoretical considerations of Otto Rössler, who compares dynamic processes with the so-called “taffy puller,” a machine for making candy. Through opposite rotating movements, the mass is pulled and squeezed; each moment of the process is unique and cannot be repeated. For Grantina, the taffy puller is an analogy not only to chaotic movements, but also to her own artistic practice. Instead of sculptural eternity, the pieces give the impression of permanent transformation.

At the Kunstverein, the artist installs a three-dimensional tableau by shifting, coloring, and undressing the pillars and walls of the exhibition space—as alluded to in the show’s title. She penetrates the institutional infrastructure like a parasite, as if devouring it. A poetic audio guide by Mary Rinebold Copeland reinforces the installation’s immersive effect and transforms the lower exhibition space into a cinematographic total experience.

Daiga Grantina (*1985 in Riga, Latvia; lives and works in Paris) is a graduate from the University of Fine Arts Hamburg. Her recent solo presentations span platforms including Kunsthaus Bregenz, kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga, Galerie Joseph Tang in Paris, Mathew Gallery in Berlin, and Hester Gallery in New York. Group exhibitions include Bergen Assembly in Norway and Campoli Presti in London. In 2013, Grantina was part of the international team of artists in research residency at Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

Curated by Rhea Dall, director of Unge Kunstneres Samfund (UKS), Oslo.

The exhibition is made possible by the kind support of the Culture Department of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the Hamburgische Kulturstiftung, and the Leinemann-Stiftung für Bildung und Kunst.