On Fairfax in Little Ethiopia, the Chainlink Gallery is fully lit as people lounging in nearby cafes stare in, looking for answers. Behind the windows made opaque with layers of translucent plastic sheets, the artist, Lisa Reider, is in a trance-like state, creating life. The aforementioned sheets of fiber act as a shield to her creations, enticing yet withholding, only allowing for the warm glows to emit through the window.
Inside, this shield has cocooned the walls of the gallery, there are various canvases and structures in the midst of being produced for her latest exhibition entitled “The Womb.” The pieces are still in their infancy as they are being prepared for the performance prior to the show’s opening. The state of incompletion is only an aspect of the reality of the works’ existence, the process parallel to the creation of life through birth.
As a multidisciplinary artist who has fused performance, painting, drawings and sculpture in past exhibits, this project marks an even more ambitious and immersive experience for Reider. All this preparation is for a 3-day durational performance, viewable through the gallery’s window, in which she will allow the public to peek into the womb as she creates “life” while interacting, living, eating, and meditating. The performance culminates with the metaphoric birth of her works on the night of the opening. Through viewing the process of work being created in “The Womb,” the audience can see the artist is the one who gives breath to the souls. It is a concept that is often overlooked as we live in a detached lifestyle often riddled with technological hang ups and social apathy. Reider’s pieces provide an emotive experience of tranquility amidst the chaotic life of the every day. We must now think of whether this sense of calm came before or after the existence of her figures and when she anointed souls to the work.