Daiga Grantiņa

Daiga Grantiņa was born in 1985 in Riga and currently lives and works in Paris. Grantiņa recently participated in exhibitions at Villa Vassilieff in Paris, Platform-L in Seoul, South Korea, and La Panacée in Montpellier. Grantiņa was also in a two-person exhibition at Galerie Joseph Tang with artist Athena Vida, and recently had a solo show at Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

Location: Vilnius, Tallinn
Daiga Grantiņa Biotopia, exhibition view, Kunsthalle Mainz, DE, July 2017 Courtesy the artist and Galerie Joseph Tang

She took me to the hollow of the dam, and we squirmed there for I don’t know how long, without saying a word, laying shoulder to shoulder, with our faces pressed against the wet dirt of that alveolus.
Her work rests on an unconscious level
Like the uncontrollable matter of the dream
Since winters are especially harsh in the swamps, we prepared for hibernation; the days passed slowly, the sun turned more and more orange.
So she bends her head to the heart
And explores the existence of fascia, the tissue between muscle and
bone
She fascinates and clutters at the same time within her works.
She opens a door and there is another one, and then another and another, until the last one, which doesn’t even exist, and so on, until she finds herself to the first one, which does not even exist, and she takes a stroll to old places because what she thought had released her, and really had released her, becomes a trap and brings her back there to finally understand that her last truth is just as illusory as the first one and to remember that she is always walking a fine line. A skin that connects an ‘out there’ to the imagination of touch
She transposes you into the swamps, with every single part of her mise en scène:

–an assemblage of stalactite shapes, mucus, ceramic glaze, materials such as acrylic, acrylic gel, polycarbonate, PVC or foam, red beads like red corpuscle, reflections, projector lighting, slot machine rolls, automobile parts, colored mesh, fake carnations, transparent wrapping-like paper, wires, Plexiglas, brake lights, fibers, fabrics, jewelry, metal wires, nets, artificial asparaguses, plastic body components, shades of light, rosso corsa moss, strings, garments, formless forms, pieces of flesh, folds, plastic folds and shapes, synthetic fabric, cellulose and other corporeal materials–

In a world of signs, she deciphered signs in everything. She bowed silently, with deep respect, before them.
She never loses touch with the creative and emotional processes even when she reflects on it. She conceives of and stages her works as a strong ribbon between a physical space and a mythological realm.
Like the uncontrollable matter of the dream
Like carrying the thinnest mirror of memory
On a public transport
She carries within an untruth meant to explain the tangled movement of the sublunary world. This is called truth, and it lasts until another truth appears. Her practice sits at the fine threshold of reality and fiction, of pure misery and magical realism, of (art) world muds and (artistic) surreal imaginations. She played a pleasant game: between the imagined imaginary and the lived imaginary she was tempted by the nostalgia of a possible paradise. She grabs you, suspends you and plunges you into metaphorical, illusory and meagre contexts.
How to be close to things?
The other side creates a porous periphery
She felt how the endless abyss tried to suck her in, but she managed to resist. To make distance
But which one?

_______________ Excerpts from Zenobia, written by Gellu Naum and translated by James Brook and Sasha Vlad
_______________ Excerpts from Daiga Grantina’s UNPUBLISHED writing entitled The difference between a bowl and a basket
_______________ Lines written by Cristina Vasilescu

 

Cristina Vasilescu