Liliya Lifanova

Born in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in 1983. Lives and works in New York.

Based on T.S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land, Liliya Lifanova has produced a performative video work titled Flight Over Wasteland, which she designed with sculpture, sound and installations. The destruction caused by the war brought about the moral and spiritual collapse of the society. Lifanova’s work, which focuses on issues that are still relevant, presents a narrative that proceeds through historical memory. In his book Palliative Society, Byung-Chul Han reflects on the fear of pain. He writes, “A society dominated by the hysteria of survival is a society of the undead. We are too alive to die and too dead to live.” 1 As long as history, memory, despair and disappointment remain buried in the cycle of nature, they are null and void for people willing to forget their dreams. However, when the continuity of the nature and the flow manifests itself with the arrival of spring, everything under the earth moves towards the surface. Flight Over Wasteland pursues meaning in a cosmos where the river no longer flows; where stone, soil, the living dead and only sad memories rule. The exhibition invites people to come under the shadow with calm repetitions to show them what is different from themselves. The compliance of the society under anesthesia to this call to the shadow is a revelation of the pain. Pain is the source for the deep bonds to be rebuilt. The transformation in human relations, which will enable the regaining of meaning, will open the way to salvation.
1 Byung-Chul Han, Palliative Society, Translated by Haluk Barışcan, Metis Publications, 2022, Istanbul, pp. 27-28.