Winter is always a state of hibernation. We all retreat into our own spaces. Just as Plato’s character returned to his cave, we return to ours, in an attempt to escape the chilly reality. In this state of hibernation there is no longer the desire to move, we become static.
This static reaction to winter is reflected in Lindsay Lawson’s show ‘Wokeness’. She – for the first time in a solo exhibition – is reshowing a previous work, ‘Der Denker.’ This neon sculpture exists in the permanently static state of contemplation. All these new figurative sculptures are pondering and all of them are featureless, reflecting a chosen blindness to reality that is told to us in the allegory of Plato’s cave. The title of the show refers to a more contemporary idea of enlightenment to one’s surrounding, if obfuscated, reality. A generation discussing the idea of being ‘woke’ seeks an awareness of how the corporate structures that we rely on affect us individually and collectively.
The thinker is therefore woke, however he doesn’t do anything. The thinker lacks the autonomy or motivation to act. The frozen moment of enlightenment is further represented to us through the flames flowing out of the trash bin, being denied a fluidity by being formed in ceramic, a process that requires immense heat to freeze an image of fire. This enlightenment is presented in a moment of questioning. The photographs of flaming matches with their shadows illuminate the obvious, yet remarkable, fact that fire has no shadow raising questions to the materiality of this energy. Is it that this enlightenment is fragile or that it’s energy that it casts all doubt aside?
Lindsay Lawson is continuing to change our perspective on the nature of objects. By diminishing the utility of the chair she renders it unsittable while suggesting a human presence through anthropomorphism and incorporated personal effects like a draped leather jacket or a pair of gloves. ‘Wokeness’ at Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer is an inverse reflection of her recent solo show at Gillmeier Rech in Berlin, in which Lindsay Lawson created movement and life within her anthropomorphic sculptures through the use of water and mist, further highlighting the juxtaposition between static and fluid, human and object.