223-225 West 10th Street New York, New York

February 05, 2016 – March 18, 2016

Time Equities Inc. Art-in-Buildings is pleased to announce the newest exhibition at the West 10th Window: Liliya Lifanova, Study for L’Attente.

Study for L’Attente is a scaled model of a performance Lifanova will direct in sequel to her 2009 performance, Anatomy is Destiny. In both performances, Lifanova explores ideas of warfare, strategy, victory, and human nature by imagining the actions of chessmen within and between games of chess. Anatomy is Destiny was based on the transcript of a fictional chess match between Marcel Duchamp and his alter ego Rrose Selavy, written by artist Armand P. Arman. In Lifanova’s performance, 32 participants, dressed in specially designed clothing that restricted their movements and thereby defined their roles within the game, played out this fictional match, battling on the surface of a life-sized chess board. After approximately 40 minutes and 40 moves by each side, the match ended in a tie. Bringing the fictional chess match to life, Lifanova’s performance tested the notion of fate versus free will, concluding with the ultimate stalemate of two kings chasing each other around the chessboard for eternity.

Lifanova will stage L’Attente at the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) in Saint Louis in 2017-2018. The project’s prequel, Anatomy is Destiny was exhibited at the WCHOF in 2011-2012 and had a live performance at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in February 2012. L’Attente picks up where Anatomy is Destiny concluded, in the aftermath of two kings on the surface of the chess board, chasing each other in an endless and futile fight for victory. In L’Attente, Lifanova asks the question of what becomes of the chessman in the coffer? The performance imagines what transpires among the chess pieces between matches while stored below the surface of the chessboard. What happens when the rules of the game are off and the individual chessmen are no longer bound by their assigned roles, are stripped of their titles, rendered equal, and sequestered with their fellow players? What happens when there is no territory to conquer, no opponents to capture, and no one to defend? Lifanova looks beyond warfare and strategy to imagine what more the game of chess can tell us about the human condition.


Liliya Lifanova (American, born in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 1983) lives and works in New York. A multidisciplinary artist whose practice encompasses performance, painting, drawing, and sculpture, she received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL (2010), and is a Fulbright Scholarship recipient (2011-2012). Lifanova has been an artist-in-residence at Gridchinhall Artist Residency, Moscow, Russia (2012), Triangle Arts Association, New York (2013), the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE (2015), and Artist’s Alliance, New York (2015). Her work has recently been exhibited at the Rooster Gallery Contemporary Art, New York, NY; Elga Wimmer Contemporary, New York, NY; Kunsthalle Projects, Brooklyn, NY; Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy; The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Saint Louis, MO; Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY; and Harper’s Books Gallery, East Hampton, NY. Her work is included in the Permanent Collection of the US Embassy, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, US Department of State, and in several private collections.

Next up at the West 10th Window: Martha Mysko and Forrest Lewinger.

For press inquiries please contact: Nikki Buccina, QUINN | nbuccina@quinn.pr | 212.868.1900 x387


The West 10th Street Window is curated by Natalie Diaz and Jennie Lamensdorf and is sponsored by the Time Equities Inc. (TEI) Art-in-Buildings Program. TEI is committed to enriching the experience of our properties through the Art-in-Buildings Program, an innovative approach that brings contemporary art by emerging and mid-career artists to non-traditional exhibition spaces in the interest of promoting artists, expanding the audience for art, and creating a more interesting environment for our building occupants, residents, and their guests.

Photos Courtesy the Artist.

Learn more about Liliya Lifanova’s work on her website!