The way to a man's heart is through his stomach
The mouth is probably the most ambivalent of our orifices, made to kiss and bite, suck and spit, eat, laugh and swallow. It serves both tenderness and cannibalism. 'Eat me' (2006) coarsely evokes the possibilities of this fascinating cavity, slapping lipstick on a lump of guts. Marilyn's (desirable) lips blow a kiss before giving birth to a piece of trash. Glamour is drowned in a silky cloaca, resonating with disturbingly childish whispers.
As often in her videos, Lia Anna Hennig bonds the brutality of the visual confrontation with the torment of a painstaking duration. Slowly, the maw becomes frantic, a freakish wound constantly reopened. The crude eroticism of the piece plays for a while on the verge of insanity. Then everything disappears in comic bubble of gum. Lia has the unique talent to pair boredom with humour. The carefully crafted monotony of her videos is constantly broken by minute outbursts of hilarity, easing the unbearable physicality of the images.
In 'Exkremente aus porzellan' (2006) she chooses to have jodels (folkloric German songs) for soundtrack whilst she conscientiously vomits to create a kitsch pattern reminiscent of the doilies in Frankfurt am Main. In this piece, the artist command of the medium is particularly striking. As a result of the video played backward, she seems to be producing victuals with her viscera, to be shitting through her mouth. Trashy Grethel out of a discarded version of Grimm's story, she playfully perverts the cliches of the 'good traditional German girl', her blond plaits dripping with whipped cream.
Lia Anna Hennig's meticulous drawings reveal a more intimate aspect in her practice. They suggest an untold fairy tale, a dimension overflowed with childhood memories, inhabited by wolf-head kings and strawberries men. Embroideries on paper, they also tenderly remind of a women craftsmanship, long ago forgotten.
CV & Education
Qualifications and training
2006 - MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London
2005 - Staatliche Hochschule der Bildenden Kunste STADELSCHULE, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2003 - Exchange Erasmus-Socrates, Ecole nationale superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris
2008 - OMNIVORES, Alexia Goethe Gallery, London
2007 - Assembly: Lia Anna Hennig - When Im King surely I will need a Queen, Chapter, Cardiff
2007 - Skeletons in the Cupboard, Peles Empire, Mackey House, Los Angeles
2006 - The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, Peles Empire, London
2009 - Pot Luck: Food and Art, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall
2008 - DIVINATION 3 , Brunswick Gallery http://www.divination.org.uk/, London
2008 - Future 50, PSL, Leeds
2008 - The Jerwood Drawing Prize Exhibition, Jerwood Space, London
2007 - Art Futures, Contemporary Art Society, Bloomberg Space, London
2007 - DIVINATION, B22 Hamburg, Bernstorffstrae 22, Hamburg, Germany
2007 - DIVINATION 2, La Générale, Paris
2007 - Draw me a Video, Alexia Goethe Gallery, London
2007 - Out of the Frying Pan..., Espace Uhoda, Liège, Belgium
2007 - Paper, Rollo Gallery, London, Charing Cross Road
2007 - Potato in Bloom, Whitecross Gallery, London
2007 - VIDEONALE 11, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany
2006 - Quick and Dirty, Bargehouse, London
2006 - Real Presence - Floating Sides, Convento delle Terese & Magazzini Ligabue Venice, Venice
2006 - Three's a Crowd, The Tram Depot Gallery, Upper Clapton Road, London
2007 - Seduced at the Window Gallery, The Window Gallery - Central Saint Martins, London, Charing Cross Road
Competitions, prizes and awards
2008 - Jerwood Drawing Prize, Second Prize winner, The Jerwood Space, London