Kris Lemsalu, ‘Evian Desert’, 2012, Temnikova & Kasela

The term “Evian desert” creates an association of bottled water in a desert. In addition, two bathrobes – one standing and the other collapsed empty on a pile of sand speak of clothed emptiness. Kris’s own interpretation is the following: “At a festival someone once asked me how I was doing. I didn’t want to give the usual empty answer, so I said, ‘I’m like a millionaire in the desert’. Wealth and thirst hand-in-hand, with the feeling that anything is possible inside.”

About Kris Lemsalu

Kris Lemsalu merges animals and humans, nature and culture, and abjection and beauty in her sculptures, installations, and performances. Her works are composed of found and handmade materials, including animal pelts, clothing, and food, and are centered around ceramic objects made by the artist, reflecting her training as a ceramist. Maximalist, visceral, and sexualized, Lemsalu’s pieces evoke the wild, bestial side of human beings and civilizations, and are underscored by feminist themes. She often inhabits her installations and sculptures for performances. In one performance, she laid beneath a ceramic tortoise shell for hours, with her head tucked inside and her arms and legs protruding from the openings. For a performance cheekily titled The Birth of Venus, Lemsalu donned a bodysuit made of stuffed pantyhose formed into exaggerated female body parts and “birthed” a giant white balloon.

Estonian, b. 1985, Estonian, based in Vienna, Austria