Feb 03 – Mar 24 2018
von Bartha, Basel, Showroom
Lievens sculpturally reworks the familiar, challenging our established perceptions and urging the visitor to reimagine the function of everyday objects. Caught in a new space between fiction and reality, her refashioned objects take on a poetic potency, illuminating the intrinsic fragility of the presented subjects. While participating in the project “Voisins de Campagne” (2017), Lievens lived for six months at the estate of Priscilla and Edouard de Lamaze, near Rouen. At von Bartha she presents two works – “Les mondes vierges”and“Notes de printemps” – completed during this residency. In Les mondes vierges, corollas of dandelion seeds are nestled in 1000 blank copies of the French newspaper “Le Monde”. When picked up and opened to read, the seeds are blown away in all directions by the wind, spreading information. The work uses the material to challenge the viewers’ imagination and to lift them to a state of contemplation.
The work Empreintes takes inspiration from the Morpho Thamyris butterfly whose wings are composed of layers of scales as well as layers of air, allowing the light to permeate the wing and be reflected. To render this natural phenomenon visible, Lievens uses glass plates to isolate the different layers of scales. In Notes de Printemps, terracotta leaves – dipped in liquid clay and tinted – evoke a feeling of seasons passing by. Presented as a pile on the floor, the leaves create an imagined, artificial landscape. The latest series of works included in the exhibition is inspired by the story of the birth of sculpture, as told by the poet Plinius the Elder. The tale details how Butades of Sicyon recreates the face of his daughter’s absent lover in clay, working from an outline she has drawn from the man’s shadow; the resulting creation is thus said to be the first known sculpture. For Lievens, the story references her own attempts as an artist to capture fleeting moments in time, as well as the fragile and ephemeral side of nature.