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IN MEMORY OF STATIC: THE ART OF KLARA LIDÉN

Klara Lidén, Paralyzed, 2003, still from a color video, 3 minutes 5 seconds.

IN EARLY JUNE 2000, I visited Art Basel for the first time. I was naive, which meant that I was subsequently shocked and dismayed. The convention hall was filled with stalls, many of which were displaying objects I knew and loved (works by Piero Manzoni, Marcel Broodthaers), pieces made by people I admired from afar (Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham) or by artists of great historical merit (Piet Mondrian, Ed Ruscha). Then there were pieces by artists I knew personally. All of this gave me a charge of recognition mixed with a creeping sense of sadness; by the time I reached my hotel, unironically called the Hotel du Commerce, I realized I was suffering from a kind of equally unironic, decidedly old-fashioned heartbreak. For, more than being an assortment of proper names, the objects themselves had, up until that point, represented constellations of ideas to me, their primary form of exchange

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