about the exhibition
New Works 99.3
New York, NY
September 09–October 17, 1999about the artist
Liisa Roberts was selected for ArtPace’s International Artist-in-Residence Program by curator and cultural critic Okwui Enwezor, the Artistic Director of Documenta XI and Adjunct Curator at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Since the early 1990s, Liisa Roberts has produced a number of films and installations incorporating film, which blur the line between media art and sculpture. Roberts’ work investigates what has been described as the “ethical dimension of images”–looking at the way images affect the individual’s experience in society while researching the material aspects of the image itself. Her installations have used the projected image and the screen to create a space that is unfamiliar, resembling neither the white cube of the gallery nor the flat screen to be viewed by a passive audience. Like the movement of a film in which one frame follows another, the viewer’s passage through one of her installations unfolds a series of physical and conceptual experiences.
New York-based Liisa Roberts was born in Paris in 1969 and received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Since the early 1990s, Roberts has exhibited internationally, including group exhibitions at Artists Space, New York; Helsinki Kunsthalle and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; The Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, England; P.S.1, Long Island City, NY; Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; and Bildmuseet Umeå, Umeå, Sweden. Solo exhibitions have taken place at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL. She participated in the 1997 Documenta X in Germany and the 1999 Venice Biennale in Italy. Her work will be featured in the Whitney Museum’s upcoming exhibit, The American Century.
about the project
At ArtPace, Roberts has created a sound installation work that extends the gallery space into the city. Roberts’ process began by conducting a number of interviews with people, recording their stories and perspectives on historical and personal monuments. These interviews form a fragmented soundtrack, which creates a complex space built from diverse voices and locations.
The project investigates some of the desires that are at play when we identify strongly with an image or an event that takes place within and beyond our personal experience. About the project, the artist comments, “Events are understood in the present through linear narrative time, such time can be identified as ‘history’—the categorization of the past. This categorization is a consequence of the need for value and instruments. The ways in which we link places together and transform them into personal narratives, however, play a subversive role in undermining dominant interpretations of space. These narratives are a means of ‘disclosure’ between the narrator and the place, in which the individual’s identification with the place reveals a secret while creating spaces. In the installation, this temporality of language creates the time for physical actions in which individuals actually realize themselves.”