June 22, 2010
Wild Things 25 June – 19 September 2010 Brandts Torv 1 Odense, Denmark 5000 www.brandts.dk
The exhibition WILD THINGS is a tribute to the space where art acts. It is a different space with room for play letting loose; and doing away with the social straightjacket which only standardizes, perfects, and categorizes plants, breeding animals and people. We even try to master the world’s climate and the skies, most recently when trying to determine to what extent global temperatures can rise. But still, we are unable to control volcanoes, earthquakes or tsunamis. Kunsthallen Brandts has invited 12 artists with an interest in the organic who, in their works of art, break free of the tendency to control. Instead, they allow things to unfold in extensive growth, mixtures of the artificial and the living and in larger than life plants. Luzia Simon’s (BS) scanograms of tulips are gigantic, and because they are created in a naturalistic way, their presence is scary. At times they even appear almost uncanny, because they threaten us with their overwhelming beauty. Something similar is at play in the works of art of Meagan and Murray McMillan (US) in which lilies made of metal and wood have taken on enormous dimensions. The artists arrange the changes an experience goes through, seen in the light of memory, on several levels. Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger (CH) have created several works for the exhibition through which the guest has the opportunity to experience on his/her own body what it is like to be a tree or a bush. Applying elements of human traits onto nature furthermore allows one to move around as if one was four meters tall and three meters wide. Robert Kushner (US) has painted more than 500 paintings of plants on torn out pages from world literature. Language and writing are different from each other and flowers and plants become the frame of understanding within which people from all times and cultures can meet. Marianne Grønnow (DK) presents a town, an organism, which has been encapsulated and changed into a geological phenomenon. Among the buildings live coloured ornaments which gradually take over civilization. Jennifer Steinkamp’s (US) streams of flowers flow like a waterfall down the walls. The work is a 6×8 m projected blanket of beauty and you are drawn towards the beautiful film. Not until the work has drawn you very close do you discover – perhaps – that all the flowers are poisonous. On the floor, Polly Apfelbaum (US) has placed simple cut out flowers in mordant neon colours referring to Pop Art. However naïve and innocent they appear, they possess meanings of the USA’s warfare and the consequential protests. The Chinese artist Bingyi Huang (CN) has painted a forty meter long “largescape” full of historical figures, animals, gods and creatures, inviting the viewer on a journey through time from the origin of fire to the black holes of the universe. Rina Banerjee (I) also takes us far and wide with her map of the world, above which an air balloon, which appears as a thing of the past, is floating. Kathrine Ærtebjerg (DK) leaves her figurative main characters behind for a time, making space for the organic life forms winding up the staircase at Brandts – devilish and sweet, they show us the way into WILD THINGS. Catalogue In relation to the exhibition, Kunsthallen Brandts will publish a catalogue introducing the artists and their work.