Galerie Mazzoli Berlin proudly presents WHOSE STREET by Lukas Liese, the first solo show by the artist at the gallery.
Liese transforms the traditional white marble into a contemprary medium, mirroring historical moments and current societal events. The exhibition’s title originates from the context of protest, questioning the ownership of both digital and physical public spaces. Liese’s sculptures and installations oscillate between the online ephemerality and the agelessness of stone, creating a constant tension within the works. Browser options, links and icons etched and painted on marble seem to offer us the point and click customization of the digital sphere. A massive stone slab’s mimicry of a traffic light alludes to the infrastructure of virtual spaces as well as to the alert system for the current pandemic. As public space has increasingly shifted from city streets to online forums and social media, its capacity for lawlessness and amorality has also expanded, threatening the functions of our democratic systems.
During his recent residency in Carrara, Italy, Liese walked the road that Michelangelo paved in order to access his precious marble. In Michelangelo’s time, the rate of extraction at the quarry was a fraction of what it is today. Now it is a highly industrialized arena displaying mindless depletion of natural resources. These mountains housing the most prized marble in the world which takes eons to form, are being emptied; becoming a sculptural phenomenon in their own right, carved by the forces of a globalized capitalism. Liese reflects on these changes, delving into the historical narrative to raise questions about our position within a scaleless environment of our own making.
The work Michelangelostraße displays the street sign of his studio address carved into marble installed on a metal pole. Here he builds a narrative bridge between the mastermind of the renaissance, and the unassuming GDR street which was named in honour of his 400th birthday in 1964. Michelangelostraße non finito is a reference to the art historical term of the unfinished, which when aesthetically recognised acts as an artwork with the same qualities as a completed piece. Rough edges, the appearance of an idea and the possibility of completion in the eye of the viewer refer to this multi-layered sculptural category. Through these choices, Liese continually links this historical narrative with his current context for artistic production, a post-soviet industrial park in between high-rise blocs and a neighbouring Norma supermarket, without imposing a hierarchy of value between the two. He remains a vigilant, impartial observer, challenging how our physical and virtual environments are perceived and defined.
Lukas Liese (born 1991 in Munich) studied fine arts/sculpture at the Weißensee Academy of Art in Berlin and at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, USA. In 2018, he was awarded with the Mart Stam Prize for his diploma thesis. In 2020, Liese received the Elsa Neumann Scholarship of Berlin (NaFöG). Recent exhibitions were among New Balance at Galerie Mazzoli, Parallel Dazu at Warte für Kunst in Kassel and the Berlin Masters exhibition in 2019.