Erik van Lieshout: This Can't Go On (Stay With Me!)
Edited by Mirjam Varadinis, Rein Wolfs. Text by Tom Morton.
The rising Dutch artist Erik van Lieshout, temporarily based in Los Angeles while he sets up for bicoastal American museum debuts at the Hammer in Los Angeles and at Mass MoCA, in North Adams, Massachusetts, works with video installation, painting and drawing to analyze our daily reality in currently confusing times. In a dizzying game of political correctness versus incorrectness, he provides razor-sharp comments on sociocultural truths, always seeming to wind up in unfamiliar, uncomfortable and confrontational situations. As he says: "My challenge is to lose control...Because it's only when you lose control that you have the feeling of freedom." On his way to that freedom, van Lieshout turns whomever he encounters into subject matter for social documentaries--his endless curiosity and his disarming personality encouraging strangers to share their intimate feelings and politics openly with him. In his work, van Lieshout translates this ferocious exploration of the behaviors of people he meets into aggressive, sometimes violent, sexual imagery. Born in 1968 in the Netherlands, van Lieshout's work was recently featured in the 2006 Berlin Bienniale and the 2003 Venice Biennale, among others.