The title of the exhibition, What Eats Around Itself, refers to the dynamic properties of lichen, a composite organism that results from the symbiosis between fungi and algae. Grantina draws inspiration from lichen’s many adaptive qualities, like coexistence and self-replication, to devise her material processes. For her New Museum presentation, the artist premieres a new site-specific sculptural installation that interweaves cast silicone with paint, latex, fabric, and felt. Suspended from wooden planks and clinging to the gallery walls and floor, this work mimics the growth of lichen, which typically develops into a crusty, leaflike, or branching formation. The work’s amorphous structure appears to undergo construction and decomposition at once, much as lichen reproduces and consumes its own biological matter.
Grantina’s sculptures also draw from the lyricism of poet Rainer Maria Rilke and his profound interest in the rose, which he viewed as an emblem of promise, possibility, and the power of art to give life deeper meaning. On his gravestone, Rilke’s self-composed epitaph reads, “Rose, oh pure contradiction, desire / to be no one’s sleep under so many / lids.” The central forms in Grantina’s installation resemble both rose petals and eyelids, evoking Rilke’s manifold interpretations of the flower as a conduit between vitality and sleep, life and death.
|Daiga Grantina: What Eats Around Itself
|Place / venue
|New Museum, New York
|21 January – 1 September 2020