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Pia Lindman, Faceworks

Luxe Gallery
53 Stanton Street, 212-582-4425
East Village / Lower East Side
February 15 - March 15, 2008
Reception: Thursday, February 14, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Pia Lindman’s performance-based work suggests new ways of combining research and art. As Fellow and artist-in-residence at M.I.T. (2004–06) she studied humanoid robots and facial expressions (both robotic and human). In FACEWORKS, Lindman exhibits a selection of the resulting pieces, such as Fascia, her acclaimed video and performance installation that was exhibited at the Store front for Art and Architecture Gallery in New York in 2006.

For Fascia, Lindman designed a chair, echoing the devices used in early photographic portraiture. Metal contraptions extend from the headrest of the chair to hold her head in place as she sits. In various shots, the contraptions attach to her head and face at different points, forcing her face to conform to increasingly difficult, uncomfortable positions.

These one-hour performances are recorded and edited as a series of time-lapsed (layered) videos focusing on her face. Because of the duration of the pose, the face generates minute movements that do not emphasize individuality of the face’s features but cause it to lose any sense of intentional expression. The face is rendered empty and open to interaction and dialog. At the same time, it also appears immobile – a grimace, a mask.

In Face for A Robot Lindman built a robotic mask to move the features of her face, and for Face Act she invited drama students to enact a play on her face by moving her face with their fingers. In this experiment, Lindman’s face collapses the stage with the actors.

The Finnish-born Lindman received her second Master degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Fulbright Scholar in 1999. She now lives in New York City and teaches at Yale University School of Art.
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