Lili Huston-Herterich

installatie - conceptueel

My practice involves material and processual research that asks who and what I am with, and where these things come from. I am concerned with how my work emerges in complicated relation to space, history, and other lives, and how to maintain an awareness of these relations. Materially, I work with what I am in close vicinity to in order to develop a dialogue from my current position historically, geographically, and economically. Work ranges from sculptures made with found material, to writing and poetry that begins with transcription of live or recorded voice, to photographs, sound, and video. I am conscious of my position as a maker in a context of excess, and use capitalist culture's flotsam and jetsam to create meaningful work in a radically dependent present.

System of Radical Dependency - System of Radical Dependency traces the lineages, from concept to production to completion, of my existing artistic works. It is a project that that acknowledges the dependencies in my artist practice, which include not only the institutions and people that have hosted and enabled my work’s display, but the people who surrounded me in the process of the conceptual development of it. With this research project, there is an opportunity to redefine how the traces of an artistic practice – through the various support systems that facilitate research, experimentation, and manifestation – can be represented through online distribution. System of Radical Dependency preserves an alternate portrait of how artistic work is not made alone, but rather through the plurality of subjects and experiences.
Shanties - Shanties is a visual and auditory landscape that considers the contemporary role of music at sea. Verbal moments punctuate a soundscape of songs, and conversations about them, recorded aboard CMA CGM Fidelio, a freight ship travelling from Vancouver to Shanghai across the Pacific Ocean.
A two-top set for one (with a fragmented view) - A two-top set for one (with a fragmented view) recreates the form of a long wooden screen that stood in the mess hall of CMA CGM Fidelio, a freight ship that I crossed the Pacific Ocean on in 2017. The screen partitioned dining from leisure spaces. Underscoring the rigid hierarchies aboard the vessel, the screen in practice also tended to separate areas habituated by the Filipino crew from those of the French officers. The reproduced screen is relieved of its rigidity, as it is rendered from found fabric: specifically cotton T-shirts- turned-grease rags used to lubricate the ship’s massive engine room workings. Rips and stains become registers of labour, movement, and contact. These textiles however, betray themselves as indices of global capitalism: produced as fast fashion by underpaid workers in Asian garment factories, they are shipped aboard container vessels to distributors around the world, only to return to the ships as deadstock, picked over by seamen and cut into rags to then play a second role in the maintenance of the same system.
The Whole Roach - The Whole Roach is a video work made during the early stages of research on the textile industry in the Netherlands, and subsequent thoughts on capitalist and colonial globalization and the labor systems it relies on. The voice in the video reads a poem made from an auto-translated didactic panel at the TextielMuseum in Tilburg while swimming in port of Rotterdam, interrupted by associative content.
Attention Wallet - Attention Wallet is made in close collaboration with Aria Delanoche, a professional burlesque dancer and the artist's sister. Together, they introduce a work of collaged materials, video, and sound from a wide net of sources: an accumulative sculptural practice, a dance practice, characters made from antique markets, a depression-era Christmas card, a conversation with a working mother, and sound from their own video play as children. Combining cross-generational conversations on work, labor, time and practice between three women in a family, Attention Wallet asks what is exactly to be done with rehearsal, repetition, and ongoing play in an economy of attention.
Untitled (ongoing scarves) - An ongoing series of text-based scarves, knit during difficult winter months to take care of mental health and photographed in the apartments of close friends and family, who are voluntary caretakers of the growing collection.
You May Bargain! I Know You May. - An installation of textile sculpture and installation, text work, and new and archival video works both made in collaboration with burlesque dancer Aria Delanoche. From an interview about the work: ‘I get tied up following some threads. Instead of thinking through, I follow sideways, from multiple directions at once. I spend a lot of time untangling knots in the studio. Threaded material gets moved around and every time it relocates, knots form. Some kind of memory of a change, a trace of an encounter, showing a complexity of being within a world. Unknotting these knots could be the performance of re- collecting when, or where, or how they occurred, inevitably involving speculation or mediation. It takes some time to get through certain knots.'
Bedroom Singing - A stream-of-consciousness "talk" performance delivered laying down with closed eyes about the sounds, songs and people that frequented a teenage bedroom, punctuated by moments of singing to music from headphones. This performance was hosed and organised by Antenna Rotterdam, a venue in a carpeted bedroom in an apartment in Rotterdam.
Sodden Ties - A group exhibition organized by the artists and hosted in an empty apartment in the north of Rotterdam, with works by Jakob Forster, Lili Huston-Herterich, Alexander Iezzi, Matheline Marmy, and Victor Santamarina, with a text by Anastasia Shin. The sculpture exhibited is made from found clothing from Solna, a suburban neighbourhood in Stockholm. Text written on old receipts introduce a cast of four characters - Happiness, Precious, Simeret, and Yordamos, all in interconnected relation to one another, and all thinking about how to trust one another and themselves.
A Manual for Saving Head - A solo exhibition of photographic prints and textile sculptures at Zalucky Contemporary in Toronto. An excerpt from the exhibition text, written in collaboration with Ruth Skinner: "Yesterday I was rolling the words Manual for Braiding Bread in my head, Manual for Braiding Bread in my mouth - Manual for Braiding Bread, Manual for Braiding Head, Manual for Saving Head. Saving head. Like a meditation: save your head. A transformative slip of/ into focus. Save your head from the excesses it has received and not yet had a chance to catch up with. Summon the middle space of sleep to conjure a bodily jolt. A transformation of states: sleep to waking. In making anything, there is always something left over. Things have nowhere to go so they stick around, just move places, perhaps change elemental states."