by Jerry Saltz
You enter Klara Lidén
’s portentous cemetery of trees and wintry imminence through a small door in a police-barricade-blue plywood wall. Immediately inside, you’re confronted with the startling sight of a space filled with discarded Christmas trees, all scooped up from the sidewalks of New York by Lidén and her cohorts. A disruption of the senses comes, thoughts of the Brothers Grimm, the foreboding of forests, inchoate uneasiness. You see only a few feet in front of you. Still, there’s space enough between the trees to proceed. Make your own way in, push trees aside, slide through. To where? It’s too much of a conceit to be Dante’s Wood of the Suicides, where spirits of the self-destroyed speak only when wounded. Yet walking in Lidén’s wood makes branches break and needles fall. The floor is wet with water spilled from tree stands and buckets. The air is cool; the windows may be open. A gray mist seems to rise with the pine smell as pungent and out of place as a taxicab air freshener’s.