Crystal Heiden (°1983, CT, USA She/Her ) is an artist who works in a variety of media. By exploring the concept of landscape and location in a nostalgic way, Heiden investigates the dynamics of reality, including the manipulation of its effects and the limits of spectacle based on our assumptions of what landscape means to us. Rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination.
Her artworks establish a link between the landscape’s reality and that imagined by its conceiver. These works focus on concrete questions that determine our existence. By referencing romanticism, black humor and symbolism, she finds that movement reveals an inherent awkwardness, a humor that echoes our own vulnerabilities. She also considers movement as a metaphor for the ever-seeking person who experiences a continuous loss though the act of living in the 4th dimension.
Her works are often classified as part of the new romantic movement because of the desire for discovering and locating the self in the unfolding globalized world. However, this reference is not intentional, as this kind of art is part of the collective memory. By questioning the concept of movement, she creates work through labour-intensive processes which can be seen explicitly as a personal exorcism ritual. They are inspired by a nineteenth-century tradition of works, in which an ideal of ‘Fulfilled Absence’ was seen as the pinnacle.
Her works seek to isolate and understand the movements of humans and/or objects. By doing so, new sequences and landscapes are created which reveal an inseparable relationship between motion and the understanding of the self.