Nina Beier: Anti-Ageing | The Creators Project
Nov 24 2015
Two yogis mid-downward dog and two middle-aged women donning facial masks and sitting on wire-frame beds anchored the airy exhibition hall of the Swiss Institute in New York a few weeks back. Outside the chroma-keyed space, a trendy young man could be seen smoking cigarette after cigarette in silence, throwing each finished butt into a growing pile of carcinogen refuse. Welcome to the offbeat, bleak world of Anti-ageing, the latest project by Danish visual artist Nina Beier.
As part of Performa 15, Berlin-based artist has conceived of a series of “performative sculptures” that meditate on the complex relationships between life, time, and our own image. Viewers are invited to explore the space and view the living sculptures as they continue about their own peculiar and very specific tasks. They are in a world of their own and act unaware of the audience. They function as truly living, breathing sculptures.
Beyond the performative sculptures, there are also a series of physical and digital objects. Designed as a “hypothetical future of memento mori” according to the press release, strange sculptures that almost remind one of Clockwork Orange’sdystopian décor envelop the space, including hanging lips with long, drooping tongues, chromatic, rock climbing-style ornaments, and a cubic and hollow-wire frame bed.
But perhaps the most engaging part of Anti-ageinglies in its backdrop. A greenscreen covers the floors, walls, and ceiling. It is not just an aesthetic choice; the viewer is invited to walk in front of a series of webcams that feed into scattered monitors around the space. In doing so, you are transported into digitized spaces. You may find yourself standing in a digitized submarine submerged in the water, with the contemplative middle-aged women of that along for the ride.
Although Nina Beier’s Anti-ageing was a short, two-day durational performance, the artist currently has her work on display at Dallas’ Goss Michael Foundation, and at Lyon’s ongoing 13th Biennale.