press release

Chadwick Rantanen
September 14 – November 5, 2017

Opening/Summer party: Nicole Eisenman, Toni Schmale and Chadwick Rantanen
Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 7pm

US American artist, Chadwick Rantanen, who is a resident of Los Angeles often uses everyday objects and mass produced industrial items in his works. He transforms their function and form, however, so that their original meaning is relegated to the background and they can be looked at from a new artistic point of view and re-evaluated according to criteria other than the conventional ones. Neon tubes, tennis balls, plastic buckets, cups and recently cuckoo clocks are among his preferred objects. With them he creates sculptures, installations and site-specific interventions.

By reassigning meaning and reordering specific (architectonic) elements Rantanen’s interventions evoke a shift in the perception of a space/room in a subtle way. Here, the artist’s interest in the aesthetics and visual language of hospitals and rehabilitation units – places that promise healing and in which nothing should be disturbing – is of importance. It is not that his interventions appear to be soberly conformist but, rather, that they emphasise a perceptible sounding out of a balance between space and interstice, space and emptiness or subtle indications of spatial incisions and borders. Rantanen underlines the intriguing differences between mass-produced goods and hand-made objects, between industrial products and art, function and decoration in a way that is, without doubt, playful.

His intervention, Concerned, Interested and Wanting to Help, which he realized in 2014 at STANDARD in Oslo, literally turned the exhibition space on its head. This was achieved by repurposing the function of the lighting in this white cube. In what was otherwise a completely empty room he unscrewed some of the neon tubes so that they hung from the ceiling at an angle of 45°. By developing an adaptor that requires no manipulation of the lighting system in place, Rantanen was able to make this intervention while ensuring that the lights worked too

In the exhibition More Often and In More Places in 2012 the artist placed a series of colourful poles stretched from floor to ceiling, each with slit-open tennis balls at the ends and suggestive of walking aids in his gallery in Oslo. Due to their telescopic design the poles are responsive to as many different kinds of rooms as possible. Distributed throughout the space – sometimes in a row, sometimes concentrated in a corner – here, they appeared to support the ceiling or sometimes just to take measurements. This artistic intervention oscillated between conjectural functionality (statics) and spatial drawing defining a constant room height.