June 19, 2011 - Göteborgs Konsthall - Idris Khan at Goteborgs Konsthall
June 19, 2011

Idris Khan at Goteborgs Konsthall

Idris Khan, “Blossfeldt…After Karl Blossfeldt ‘Art Forms in Nature’” 2005.
Digital c-print, mounted on aluminium. 258 x 192 cm.

Idris Khan
Contrary Motion / Kontrapunktisk rörelse
13 May–21 August 2011

Göteborgs Konsthall
Götaplatsen, 412 56 Göteborg
goteborgs.konsthall [​at​] kultur.goteborg.se


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Göteborgs Konsthall’s 2011 summer exhibition is a presentation of the British artist Idris Khan, who has received much attention in recent years. It’s with great pleasure that Göteborg Konsthall, as the first institution in Sweden, gets the opportunity to present Idris Khan’s art for a wider audience.

The point of departure of Idris Khan’s art is photography, but he is constantly trying out new techniques and forms of expression in order to explore their preconditions and potentialities. Photography is always present and always in conjunction with other techniques such as video and sculpture.

Idris Khan adds technique to technique, not in an experimental sense but rather in a deliberate attempt to find the exact material for his chosen topic or for that which interests him. There is always a clear starting-point, a significant subject which constitutes the focus for the artist’s concentrated and extremely detailed exploration. It is often about prominent literature, pieces of music or selected works from art history, including Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Cello Suites, Philip Glass’ Contrary Motion, the Quran, Sigmund Freud’s The Uncanny, William Turner or Caravaggio. The motif is essential in Idris Khan’s art and his choices are never random. His works address the big issues pertaining to art, time, memory and life—that which may be described as the ego’s existential system of reference in space.

Idris Khan deals with the monumental and the impossible, which occasionally possess all the presupposed characteristics of the sublime, in an attempt to appropriate it and reach understanding. By layering images, repetitive actions take place in which the memory of the preceding event lingers on and actively affects the following one. An image, a sculpture or a video is thus a concentration of similarly concentrated unique moments. The hierarchy of chronological time is dissolved and by means of a metamorphic process everything turns into a point in the present. Khan’s works create a narrative between the cosmological time’s inexorability and the ego’s lived time.

Khan employs appropriation as a method to explore the art history of which he himself is a part. Not least has he taken an interest in Minimalism. In the individual works he absorbs history at several levels at the same time.

Born in 1978 in Birmingham, England, Idris Khan lives and works in London. He was educated at the Royal College of Art, London. Since 2004 he has exhibited widely internationally, including solo exhibitions at, among others, Yvon Lambert, New York, 2011; Victoria Miro, London, 2010; Elementa, Dubai, 2009; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, 2009; K 20, Düsseldorf, 2008; Iniva, London, 2006; and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco 2006. He has also participated in group exhibitions at, among others, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2010; Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris, 2009; Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow, 2009; Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain, Luxembourg, 2008; ICA – Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 2007; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2006; and Kunsthalle Helsinki, 2005.,

Göteborgs Konsthall would like to sincerely thank Victoria Miro, London.

*Image above:
Courtesy Victoria Miro.

Idris Khan at Goteborgs Konsthall
Göteborgs Konsthall
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