press release

Using mediums that include sculpture, photography, collage, and writing, the work of 
Lina Viste Grønli (b. 1976, Bergen, Norway) engages with oppositional categories—particularly those prevalent in linguistics and philosophy, such as sense and senselessness, names and things, and the systematic and the arbitrary. With humor, and using everyday objects and materials, her work exposes the paradoxes and remainders these binary structures cannot account for or encompass. Viste Grønli's exhibition for the List Center, for which she has made all new work, approaches dichotomies by playing on the relationship between a corporate and an academic aesthetic.

Some of the artist's works could almost function like ordinary pieces of office furniture:
 a table, a bookshelf, a corkboard. Another shows a woman photographed in an office. However, Viste Grønli's furniture-like sculptures are in the form of the written capital letter E. The photographed woman performs the sound-shape of E using Eurythmy, a movement art developed by Rudolf Steiner, and the pose looks nothing like the written letter. This work's frame is carved according to the tenets of Steiner's philosophy of anthroposophy, which postulates that there is an objective spiritual reality accessible to direct experience. The titles of these works also begin with the letter E, such as Entropy, Eggplant, and Effrontery, forming something of an "E-Poem."

Other works bear no evident connection to this letter. In Metaphysics of Morals, for example, an apple rests on Immanuel Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals; another work features The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language covered with mussel shells. Yet, taken together, the relationship between works is neither systematic nor arbitrary, and the exhibition as a whole explores that which neither physical things nor conceptual paradigms can contain.

In conjunction with Viste Grønli's exhibition, the List Center and Torpedo Press have published an artist's book, Library. The book includes writings by the artist and an essay on statistical linguistics by exhibition curator Alise Upitis (61 pgs, b/w, edition of 250).

List Projects: Lina Viste Grønli is curated by Alise Upitis, Assistant Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center.

Support for this exhibition has been generously provided by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General, the Office of Contemporary Art Norway, the Council for the Arts at MIT, the Office of the Associate Provost at MIT, the MIT School of Architecture + Planning, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the MIT List Visual Arts Center Advisory Committee, and the Friends of the List.