Ida Lennartsson is interested in opposing materialities, which she brings together in installations. The relationship of vulnerable bodies to machines in an industrialized society is a recurring theme in her work. On farms, she explores the aesthetics of the lives of so-called livestock. In minimalist plaster sculptures and objects, she reduces them to their essential attributes: a craggy hoof, a long bone, or a huge tongue each evoke the enormous physicality of a cow. In contrast, cool milking machines and rigid stainless-steel gates intervene to confine the living. In Lennartsson’s multi-part installation in Crossing an empty beach to look at the ocean (GAK, 2022), a long, deceptively real cow’s tongue persistently licked at a milk fountain day after day, its fleshiness both abject and fascinating to many. Using milk as a material, the artist addressed different forms of human and animal dependencies on this product of motherhood. Despite its commodification, milk is also always associated with physical warmth, intimacy, and care.
Lennartsson’s annual editions reference this feminized liquid with their numerous large white spots or puddles, but also allow for other associations. At the center of each piece is a photograph taken as part of her farm studies. A plump udder peeps out furtively from behind one leg, while fine soft fur and pronounced veins almost allow body heat to emerge from the image. Elsewhere, the animals stand in their stalls, waiting to be milked. The minimalist cropping and tactile blobs on a white surface bring the process of the cows’ physical labor into focus, while at the same time creating a gaping distance between body and product.
Ida Lennartsson (b. 1982 in Sweden) studied at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg and the National Academy of the Arts in Oslo, Norway. She has had solo and group exhibitions at Beton Berlin; GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen (2022); Veli Iz Cultural Center, Iz, Croatia (2021); Cave 3000, Berlin (2020); Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Hamburg; Periscope, Salzburg, Austria (2019); PODIUM, Oslo; GSL Projects, Berlin (2018); Galerie Karin Guenther, Hamburg; and Kunsthaus Hamburg (2017), among others.
M/other / U / U, 2022
4 unique pieces
2 x: 102 x 77 cm /
2 x: 90 x 70 cm, framed
each 930 Euro incl. 19% VAT
Text: Linda Valerie Ewert