For her show at the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, called Hereditary Language,the very first solo show in France of the American artist, Lisa Oppenheim will be presenting two works, specifically produced by the FRAC. The first one, Hereditary Language, is a film structured around an eponymous sound piece by Les Levine, in which children are talking about their anxieties about life, and the future. The second one is an ambitious photographic installation, echoing a series of paintings created by Ann Craven during her residency in Reims, in 2008, and presented in her monographic exhibition at the FRAC the same year.
Her art praxis is situated directly in the tradition of conceptual photography, the artists of the “Pictures Generation”, and American structuralist cinema. She is interested, most particularly, in the history of photography and its pioneers, as well as the development of its techniques over time. Her works often involve a relation between the original photographic process of found photography and the process which the artist introduces in her use of this latter. A kind of photographic exhumation making it possible for past and present to inform each other.
Lisa Oppenheim’s photographs and videos are created from existing images and documents which she appropriates, re-works and transforms using different historical and contemporary techniques. Her work process often finds its source in the Internet, where she looks for images and objects which she photographically re-interprets by using both analog and digital technologies. Through this approach, with the process itself becoming the basic material, the artist offers new forms and new contexts to photographic images.
Over the past ten years, she has thus produced a body of works which explore the use of the image—historical, present-day, documentary…—in our contemporary societies, a method which might be described as an “archaeology of time and visual culture”.
Lisa Oppenheim (born in 1975 in New York, where she lives and works) has recently had solo shows at the Hamburger Kunstverein (Forever is Composed of Nows, 2014), at the Grazer Kunstverein (From Abigail to Jacob (Works 2004–2014), 2014) and at the Göttingen Kunstverein (Everyone’s Camera, 2013). Her work has also been shown in many major exhibitions, including The New Photographyat The Museum of Modern Art and the ICP Triennial 2013 at the International Center of Photography, in New York, both in 2013. In 2015, she will take part in two important shows, one at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the other at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. In October 2014, she was awarded two major international photographic prizes, the Aimia | AGO Photography, Ontario, Canada, and the Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography, Jerusalem, Israel.