Exhibition documents, 2016


Sunsets, Notes From Underground, Waves (solo)

October 29 – November 19, 2016


Galleri Riis

Arbins gate 7

0253 Oslo





These days I live in Stockholm. A place surrounded by water. So I think about the desert a lot. I grew up in one. As a child, the high elevation would set off repeated murder scene-like nosebleeds. I'd lie flat on the kitchen floor waiting for the metallic flavor to stop coating my throat. Now that I think about it, I realize it's that same kitchen floor where I first discovered mercury from a broken thermometer.


Mercury is a transition metal. This has something to do with oxidation states and loss of electrons, but I just want to fixate on the idea that transitions, by definition, exist inside processes of change. They're in between phases, gaps in classification.


The three videos in my exhibition try to give form to the liminal. They narrate my own process of trying to gauge distances of all sorts. I'm probably homesick, yes. But my work is also part of a long chain of experiments that try to make visible the complex processes of consciousness - that unfold in relation to experience and language. Adorno wrote admiringly of Benjamin, "[his] thoughts press close to its object, seek to touch it, smell it, taste it and so thereby transform itself" (Prisms, 240).


In the videos, which were made over a period of nearly four years, I speak through - and have conversations with - enigmatic writers, with close friends, with histories still felt, and with technologies and geographies that I know - in order to mediate those that I don't. I've filmed in places and at times that exist at some threshold. Like where sea meets land, and while traversing above and below the surface of the earth, and during the time when day gives way to night.


- Lisa Tan, Stockholm, January 6, 2015



Opening reception Saturday October 29, from 12 – 3 pm


At 3 pm we are hosting a conversation between Lisa Tan and Mike Sperlinger, professor of theory and writing at the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo, introducing the artist's book «Sunsets, Notes From Underground, Waves» (Archive Books, 2015).


Why Not Ask Again? - Maneuvers, Disputations & Stories

November 11, 2016 - March 12, 2017


curated by Raqs Media Collective


Power Station of Art

200 Huayuangang Road

Huangpu District

200011 Shanghai






Curatorial concept: The phrase "Why Not Ask Again" is a bid, and a query, whose ascending, joyously twisting arc embraces the maneuvers, disputations and stories that contain and encode the turbulences and transports of our time. A listener eavesdropping on deep space walks out of the pages of the recent science fiction novel written in Chinese, The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin. A wanderer steps out into the deep time of eternity and the straight path of a police bullet in the terminal sequence of the picaresque Bengali film Jukti, Takko aar Gappo (Reason, Debate and a Story) from 1974 by Ritwik Ghatak. They embody the spirit of a mobile triangulation between reason, intuition and the fabulous that the 11th Shanghai Biennale seeks to discover, transmit, and learn from.


The layered perspectives in the miniature painting traditions of South Asia are an operational key for the exhibition, opening it to the braiding of varied temporal rhythms and spatial planes. Sometimes this makes place for extraordinarily discordant eruptions of the ordinary.


Walking the floors of the Power Station of Art will mean undertaking a hundred itineraries through Shanghai, Hanoi, Dakar, Fukushima, Ramallah, Lahore, Guatemala City, Tehran, Dubai, Stockholm, Dhaka, and many more unexpected byways, basements and bus stops of our present.

Four terminals will propose four condensations at the edges of the perceptional, the bodily, the fabulist and the hibernating.


Seven infra-curatorial layers epiphytically folded within the biennale will interrupt, leaven and relay resonant and dissonant lines of enquiry. They gather a constellation of emergent curatorial intelligences from Lagos, Moscow, Delhi, Hangzhou, Bangalore, Istanbul and Paris.


51 Personae will invite others to meet them on their chosen ground. This strand entangles the biennale in the magical and lyrical layers of everyday life of Shanghai. Chen Yun, with Dinghaiqiao Mutual Aid Society, coordinates this extensive project.


Theory Opera will shift the sensory and auditory rhythm of walking, stopping, resting, chatting and looking through an accelerated operatic turn within the exhibition in order to explore the sensation of thought. These are live scenarios at the intersections of works throughout the duration of the biennale. Liu Tian and Yao Mengxi co-ordinate this sequence.


Like a listener scanning deep space jolted by a signal from a distant life form or a talkative wanderer interrupted by a brief aphorism, the 11th Shanghai Biennale asks, again, “How do questions act in the world?”







Strange Oscillations and Vibrations of Sympathy

October 26–December 20, 2016


Jen Bervin, Stephanie Brooks, Anne Collier, Bethany Collins, Moyra Davey, Marcelline Delbecq, Abigail DeVille, Eve Fowler, Dianna Frid, Coco Fusco, Sabina Ott, Melissa Pokorny, Dawn Roe, Kay Rosen, Carrie Schneider, Xaviera Simmons, Lisa Tan, Cecilia Vicuña, Catherine Wagner, Carrie Mae Weems, Deborah Willis


curated by Kendra Paitz


University Art Galleries of Illinois State University

11 Uptown Circle, Suite 103

Campus Box 7150

Normal, IL 61761, USA




Strange Oscillations and Vibrations of Sympathy features works by contemporary female artists that acknowledge women writers. The exhibition's title is derived from a sentence Sylvia Plath underlined in her copy of Virginia Woolf's The Waves, and that Stephanie Brooks later appropriated for a text- based artwork. These multiple layers of mediation are integral to all of the included works. The exhibition will feature works by 21 artists inspired by writers including: Octavia Butler, A.S. Byatt, María Elena Cruz Varela, Emily Dickinson, Zora Neale Hurston, Clarice Lispector, Gabriela Mistral, Toni Morrison, Alejandra Pizarnik, Mary Shelley, Rebecca Solnit, Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Plath, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Virginia Woolf.


As a tribute to Woolf's foundational essay "A Room of One's Own," all the artists selected for Strange Oscillations are female in order to focus the interpretation of literature through the lenses of subsequent generations of artists. The works in the exhibition demonstrate the political and creative progress of feminism, examine writers’ intellectual pursuits, navigate their status as literary icons, and interpret their legacies. They also engender an intimate and sustained contemplation of texts—a cerebral, analytical pursuit whose future is threatened by a culture that favors sound bites, hashtags, and 140-character tweets.


April 29—August 14, 2016


Runo Lagomarsino, Matriarch (Maren Hassinger and Ava Hassinger), Virginia Overton,

Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, and Lisa Tan


Curated by Charlotte Ickes


Institute of Contemporary Art

University of Pennsylvania

118 S. 36th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA





Descent animates alternative modes and materials of inheritance across generations of families, artists, and artworks. While inheritance, influence, and other acts of transmission often move down vertical lines of property and patrimony, the works in this exhibition unsettle this passage with forms of heredity that are often undervalued or unconventional: used or surplus possessions, intergenerational collaborations, maternal memories and matter, transatlantic journeys, spoken words, and sound waves.


The distinct smell of cedar emanates from Virginia Overton’s work, composed of wood planks harvested from the artist’s family farm in Tennessee. This raw substance infuses the space of the gallery with the sensuous specificity of Overton’s inherited matter. Notes from Underground (2013), a video projection by Lisa Tan, excavates the subterranean and sonic echoes between the artist’s and Susan Sontag’s experiences as expatriates in Stockholm. As the work unfolds, it thickens with multisensory strata of various affective encounters with disruption and displacement. Runo Lagomarsino’s video installation traces the shared transatlantic journeys of the artist and his father through the illicit itinerary of a dozen eggs, which travel from Buenos Aires to São Paulo to their final destination in Seville before a statue commemorating Christopher Columbus’s own voyage. In many of these works, maternal transmissions dovetail with questions around performance and reproduction. Karina Aguilera Skvirsky’s Los poemas que declamaba mi mamá (The Poems My Mother Recited) (ongoing) restages the Ecuadorian poetry recitals of the artist’s mother, who became well-known for her dramatic readings. Matriarch, comprised of artists Maren Hassinger and her daughter, Ava Hassinger, will create new work out of used ICA office supplies and detritus from previous exhibitions, arranging these site-specific residues into mandala structures in and among videos. Both Aguilera Skvirsky and Matriarch will perform in their respective installations on the evening of May 11.


Transmissions within and across artworks and artists reverberate throughout the gallery as unexpected genealogies and unruly inheritance. This exhibition considers the aesthetic, sensory, and social horizons when we dissent from traditional lines of descent.


Descent is organized by 2015–2017 Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow Charlotte Ickes. The accompanying publication will feature new essays by Ickes and scholar Rizvana Bradley, text and poetry by M. NourbeSe Philip and Adalberto Ortiz, and a special section on the May 11th performances. The book is designed by Thumb—Luke Bulman.