AboutThis award-winning artist challenges society's conventional understanding of historical monuments by taking a contemporary perspective that re-contextualises them. Using life-size models and props intermingled with more traditional bronze or steel sculptures, Lang creates unnerving, humorous and thought-provoking installations. This dichotomy of contexts and mediums is further emphasised by capturing these alter-realities using new media such as photography, film and pre-cinematic zoetropes.
In 2009 Lang spent a month photographing Soviet era monuments in Budapest. After the fall of communism most Soviet sculptures were quickly removed from the public eye, sometimes ripped from their boots, which were welded to the plinths. In a few places, however, such sculptures can still be found. Many of the visible remnants of Budapest's communist history were relocated to a suburban field (now the Memento Sculpture Park) by the architect Akos Eleöd, in order to preserve their historic value and save them from destruction.
Lang photographed sculptures in several other sites around the city of Budapest during her residency. Included in her forthcoming exhibition are images from the 19th century Kerepeszi cemetery (which also contains many Soviet era graves) and from the running track at Nepstadion. This all but forgotten site of Hungary's sporting history is surrounded by groups of giant steel plated figures representing sportsmen and soldiers. In the video work The Track Lang animates these figures, apparently frozen in the act of movement, drawing out their strangely ambiguous message of sport and camaraderie, militarism and propaganda.
Lang, whose work has been collected by the Saatchi Gallery and the Royal Academy, believes figurative sculpture has unique properties that mean they are often treated as semi-living, especially in the case of religious or political figures that become the subject of devotion or the embodiment of ideologies. Lang's staged interventions pick up on their ambiguity, animating the static object into a new context and fresh visibility. Animation is central to Lang's work, both as a technique and a conceptual approach to the world of objects.
Lang's exhibition, Monumental Misconceptions, is an irreverent examination of the role of the object within the social conscious and demonstrates how art, like history, is fluid and open to interpretation.
Myriam Blundell, art advisor, curator, and founder of Myriam Blundell Projects, will be curating an evening of artist film at the gallery, on Thursday, 30th September, in response to the exhibition. Myriam Blundell Projects is a London based contemporary art curatorial practice dedicated to uncovering and exhibiting the works of emerging contemporary artists. The details of the program will be announced in due course.