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Lisa Lapinski

Listening to Lisa Lapinski present her work was an interesting experience. My expectations as to what to expect from a presentation were shaken. This was an excursion into a wildly creative, somewhat chaotically organized depiction of an artist’s inspiration.
It was certainly hard to draw direct connections to specific experiences she mentioned and their apparent existence in her work. Rather, it is probably more accurate to say that there was never a moment when a piece of her work was about one concept or one story. She drew from multiple references across a wide range of ideas and sources. For instance, I found it interesting that she explained her current piece as somehow related to Hitler and Wittgenstein, but also drew influence from another artist who recently stopped producing art. The stories she told all seemed significant enough to hold meaning within her work, it was just a matter of seeing it realized in the pieces.
Lisa Lapinski also mentioned the Shakers in relation to a sculpture she had constructed. I found this source of information to be fairly intriguing, with potential to be almost ethnographic in nature. However, she claimed as a conclusion that the piece actually had relatively nothing to do with the Shakers. I found this confusing, yet could see how in contrast with the other artists she mentioned, this was probably true.
The segments of the presentation I enjoyed most were the written pieces she shared with us. These consisted of a reaction piece to another artist’s work (which she claimed may as well have been about her work) and an e-mail exchange with a curator. Both were intense and captivating. They offered a glimpse into the kind of creativity and unique interpretation that she holds. More than anything else, these two written pieces helped me understand a bit more exactly where Lisa draws her ideas from.
I also enjoyed seeing her drawings and student work, although she did not spend much time elaborating upon them. I thought it would be interesting to hear a little more on some of those pieces, such as maybe an explanation (or any ideas, really) on how the massive amounts of wallpaper played a role “conceptually? (even though this word draws out the issues of function mentioned in the e-mail to the curator who wanted to know something similar . . . )
As an overall reaction, I was a bit thrown by her atypical, scattered approach to presenting her work. Looking back, I believe I was actually also confused in the same way by most of her work. However, this is by no means a negative thing. It’s somewhat refreshing to have no idea what’s going on, and have the creator of the work add to this sensation by offering a background.