artist / participant
Since 1993, the three core members of the Copenhagen-based artists’ collective SUPERFLEX, Rasmus Nielsen, Jakob Fenger and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, have developed a complex practice that brings together art, design, and commerce to explore the nature of globalization through ongoing collaborative projects. SUPERFLEX joins activism with provocation to reinterpret the role of artists in society and to question the nature of contemporary spectatorship. At the core of their practice is the development of what they call “tools" that enable productivity, communication, and access.
One of these tools is SUPERCOPY: an ongoing series of pirated and remanufactured plagiaries of existing products. The BIOGAS PH5 LAMP, for example, adapts Danish designer Poul Henningsen’s signature 1958 ‘PH5’ lamp to function without electricity. The PH5 is a glare-free lamp ideally scaled for home use, and is one of the most ubiquitous pieces of interior decor in Danish middle-class homes. SUPERFLEX modified the PH5 lamp to run on biogas, a form of methane derived from animal feces, for use by people living in remote rural areas. In another project, SUPERFLEX was invited to participate in an exhibition in Austria, where they produced a poster with the sentence “FOREIGNERS PLEASE DON’T LEAVE US ALONE WITH THE DANES,” for distribution on buildings, hoardings and billboards across the city.
As part of the festival SUPERDANISH: Newfangled Danish Culture at Harbourfront Centre, The Power Plant has invited SUPERFLEX to stage two new works. At The Power Plant, SUPERFLEX memorializes Denmark's participation in the coalition war effort in Iraq through the production of a SUPERCOPY of an outdoor mural in the town of Twentynine Palms, California. The original mural honors the American troops in Iraq. SUPERFLEX’s copy, painted directly on the gallery walls, replaces American troops with Danish military personnel. In addition, SUPERFLEX tests and explores transnational borders and global trade in a complementary presentation at this year’s Toronto International Art Fair (30 September – 4 October, 2004).
SUPERFLEX’s most recent exhibitions include projects at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany (2003), the Redcat Gallery and (with Rirkrit Tirvanija) at 1301PE, both in Los Angeles (2004), as well as at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland (2002). Their projects have been included in numerous group exhibitions, such as Happiness at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, and Utopia Station in the 2003 Venice Biennale.
Reid Shier (Pressetext)
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