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Coline Milliard
The Way to a Man’s Heart is through his Stomach


The mouth is probably the most ambivalent of our orifices, made to kiss and bite, suck and spit, eat, laugh and swallow. It serves both tenderness and cannibalism. 'Eat me' (2006) coarsely evokes the possibilities of this fascinating cavity, slapping lipstick on a lump of guts. Marilyn's (desirable) lips blow a kiss before giving birth to a piece of trash. Glamour is drowned in a silky cloaca, resonating with disturbingly childish whispers.

As often in her videos, Lia Anna Hennig bonds the brutality of the visual confrontation with the torment of a painstaking duration. Slowly, the maw becomes frantic, a freakish wound constantly reopened. The crude eroticism of the piece plays for a while on the verge of insanity. Then everything disappears in comic bubble of gum. Lia has the unique talent to pair boredom with humor. The carefully crafted monotony of her videos is constantly broken by minute outbursts of hilarity, easing the unbearable physicality of the images.

In 'Exkremente aus porzellan' (2006) she chooses to have jodels (folkloric German songs) for soundtrack whilst she conscientiously vomits to create a kitsch pattern reminiscent of the doilies in Frankfurt am Main. In this piece, the artist command of the medium is particularly striking. As a result of the video played backward, she seems to be producing victuals with her viscera, to be shitting through her mouth. Trashy Grethel out of a discarded version of Grimm's story, she playfully perverts the cliches of the 'good traditional German girl', her blond plaits dripping with whipped cream.

In 'Sweet pieces and the sound of the birth of a fish' (2005), tiny pieces of fish flesh come into life, performing a frenzied choreography. They fall into place like the cogs of an organic mechanics. Under our eyes, the fish takes successively all the shapes of surreal nautical monsters before coming into existence. Lia’s bubbly sounding voice leads the dance, both provoking and accompanying the jolts of this surgical creation.

Lia Anna Hennig's meticulous drawings reveal a more intimate aspect in her practice. They suggest an untold fairy tale, a dimension overflowed with childhood memories, inhabited by wolf-head kings and strawberries men. Embroideries on paper, they also tenderly remind of a women craftsmanship, long ago forgotten.