Lace. Post. Puzzles. Money. All part of ancient or antique traditions. All attract human interest and are collectable. Kim Lieberman has re-established a different connect with them, using them in a subversive context and shifting the content of how they read traditionally.
Yet, it should be noted, that she does love the facts of their history. As the history is what brings a deep, secure and embedded concepts that they contain. Which form the base for the concepts for her own works. Although sometimes diverging completely from their normal function, the respect for their primary systems remain.
Lace is an antique craft, and also an extreme craft. It contains algorithms that sit at its core – and are probably the true reason for its attractive force. Lace is actually not light and frivolous, it’s not even decorative and persuasive, and anyone who sees it as such has read it incorrectly.
In an essay titled ‘Reframing the History of Lace. Lace from Europe | Lace in Africa’, Lieberman examines the history of lace that is at once societal, political, economic, technical and beautiful. A grouping of elements not often seen together.
Human Constellation, 2008.
Lieberman has learnt to make lace in the traditional way of bobbin lace-making, but designed the ‘pricking’, or base pattern used to prick the pins into – into a more contemporary aesthetic. Taking advantage of the intelligence and knowledge that comes from the lace-making world of old, and using it in a more relevant situation, for this day and age. From this she has made a few different bodies of work that are all within the genre of Lace.
Post, a system of human communication has been the mainstay of Lieberman’s work for twenty years. The postal system, envelopes, perforation residue but particularly postage stamps have been the medium that she has carried her conceptual interest of the cross culture of culture. The essence of how we influence each other is within the sphere of communication. And post is that element of communication that can go everywhere. Travel by human hand and human system throughout the world, to places far afield that often it would be impossible for a person to go there, be it for reasons of danger, political unrest or other diplomatic reasons. Post can still get in.
Take a Thread, 2013.
Puzzles re-iterate this concept of many individuals in one system. Money, also is hand to hand passing, weaving it’s way from person to person, picking up their dirt and carrying that residue with it. The work which is most pivotal in this body of works is ‘Softening the Edges’. This work is both socially responsive and socially responsible, yet although it responds to a daily need, it still hangs on the ladder of art. The residue Lieberman presents in these works is a documentation of the process.