Dream Shop: A Photo-realistic Room Installation by Lies Maculan

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Launch celebration of Austrian artist Lies Maculan’s unique “pop-up” art installation: THE DREAM SHOP.

Austrian artist Lies Maculan, known for her intriguing, life -sized photography, will present a unique “pop-up” art installation at 30 West 21st Street throughout March 2010. The official launch event, hosted by local New York art patrons Erin Fetherston, Arden Wohl and Kipton Cronkite will be held on March 11, 2010 but the installation is available for preview by private appointment as of March 4, 2010.

Aptly named the “The Dream Shop,” the photo-realistic room installation will house over one hundred dreams, desires and wishes that have been objectified and placed in wooden shelves. This large-scale installation occupies an entire room as an integral whole but also can be broken down shelf by shelf. The deliberate arrangement of objects relative to one another and the printing of the photographs in the subjects’ original size give the installation a three dimensionality while the below eye-level perspective imparts a surrealistic experience. Maculan has taken a 3-dimensional subject, reduced it to a 2-dimensional medium and reproduced another 3 dimensional reality.

The Dream Shop casts a surreal net on the subconscious mindscape. Maculan appears to have achieved the impossible and shelved the amorphous children of our idle brains. Hopes, desires and wishes -- from the aspirational to the macabre -- are captured through a collection of expressions whose effect is hypnotic. Irreverence and whimsy reign in a room where a mother-in-law’s gravestone shares space with a Stepford-esque wife. A well formed male torso in clinging briefs appears to promote prevalent media expectations, but its objectification may also serve as a caustic nod to modern consumerism and the impossible standards set upon us.

For the viewer, association to Maculan’s expressions makes the installation immediately intimate; a heart-shaped balloon may invoke the boundless spirit of love, but to the despairing it can just as easily be pricked and dissipate. The instinct to reach is inescapable but the shelves are two-dimensional; the dream is there, but one cannot grasp it. Maculan’s lens teases and what appears as a physical manifestation of our secret psyche is a fantastical springboard for universal connection.

After graduating from Webster University in Geneva, Switzerland, Lies Maculan studied graphic design at UCLA and photography with fashion photographer Pedro Kramreiter. Since then, she has had several acclaimed exhibitions at Galerie Westlicht (solo) and Galerie Hilger in Vienna, Austria as well as the National Cultural Center U-Hof (solo) in Linz, Austria. Maculan participated in the Pulse Art Fair (Miami 2009) through Siemens_artLab and her work is in several important private and corporate collections, including Siemens’. She also has authored Shanghai – a 160-page black & white and color photography book published by Brandstaetter Verlag in 2008. Please see http://www.liesmaculan.com for more information.

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Nick Dietz
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