PRINT January 2006

Hanna Liden

The photography of Swedish-born, New York–based artist Hanna Liden delivers a cunning referential amalgam that comprises Northern European Romantic painting and art cinema, heavy metal and Hollywood horror. In her work, folkloric antiquity, modern life, and the shimmer of postapocalyptic fantasy exist in a state of delicately sustained equipoise. Her images evoke a mythic past, but one that has been disinterred from the graveyard of timelessness; the figures populating her desolate and gorgeous landscapes belong, finally, to the present. In Death Gate, 2003, two denim-clad men wearing skull masks—Liden’s characters always wear masks, sometimes store-bought, sometimes of her own making—perch on giant piles of bulldozed limestone that form the “gate” to the argentine, luminous hell-waters behind them. The men, whose calculatedly grubby attire suggests an attunement to global youth culture,

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