Since the seventies of the twentieth century, artists have built collections of all sorts of ready-mades and have been photographing generic subjects in all their specific manifestations. These have been displayed in installative arrangements in museums or galleries, sometimes with a pop-art character, sometimes minimalist in their repetitive compositions, sometimes for purely sculptural reasons. Lotus’ graduation piece is a new shot to this tribe, combining all the above-mentioned characteristics. It consists of a substantial collection of fire extinguishers, that are all similar, yet different. Lined up for duty like a platoon of red soldiers, they seem to be protecting a scene in their middle: an office table with two computer screens on it, displaying the quest of an invisible user who searches the internet for means to create merchandise, branding the fire extinguisher collection.
The installation is strong in its visual appearance: surprising, weird, poetic. For those who know Lotus, the elements in the installation are familiar. The fire extinguishers have become a kind of trademark for Lotus, to show her discontent with the phenomenon of cancel culture and its call for ‘safe spaces’.
Lotus has always been frank, and honest about her feeling of being lost in the contemporary artworld, and ever so often her artworks have been the expression of this sense. Performing as her alter ego Koda, she once embodied an insecure art student on the verge of a mental breakdown, a trick that was so convincing that the audience called for professional help. Exactly this is what makes Lotus’ works so endearing: she is a kind of prankster, with an astonishing talent for creating smack dab visuals. She has also proven to be a great organizer, an indispensable force on many occasions. She is capable to turn her weaknesses, whether perceived or real, into uncompromising artistic fun.