press release

Exhibition opening: Friday 24 October, 6-9pm

Ludlow 38 is proud to present the first solo show of Henrik Olesen in the United States. The ghost behind this show, as Olesen put it, is the figure of the English mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954), the founder of the binary code. In 1950 Turing coined the term “imitations” when devising a test to measure machine intelligence. His machines remain central objects of study in the theory of computation.

Working with the architecture of Ludlow 38 in mind, Olesen has developed past and future scenarios for Turing. The sculptures presented in the front room of the gallery lead the viewer back in time to the early part of Alan Turing’s life. Turing, a man prosecuted because he was homosexual, was given the choice between prison and probation, and eventually accepted estrogen hormone injections as ‘treatment’ of his sexual orientation. The digital collages in the rear space of the gallery hint towards the future, where the decomposition of bodies in new digital domains allows a “virtual” dimension, a vast reservoir of potential traits and connections that are contained in an “actual” body.

Olesen's artworks often take form in posters, sculptures or architectural interventions. He works with knowledge that is in the public domain yet remains largely excluded from public discussion. Over the last three years, the artist has researched imagery of homo-social and homoerotic depictions in art and cultural history, as well as reports from and biographies of homosexual artists that attempt to partially reconstruct a lost or deleted history. The formal setting of the image panels displaying Olesen’s findings in his recent exhibition “Some Gay-Lesbian Artists and / or Artists relevant to Homo-Social Culture I-VII” at Galerie Bucholz in Cologne, resembled the “Mnemosyne-Atlas” of art historian Aby M. Warburg (1866-1929).

Henrik Olesen was born in Esbjerg, Denmark, in 1967. He currently lives in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include: Portikus, Frankfurt (with Judith Hopf); Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich; Secession, Vienna; Sprengel Museum, Hanover. He recently co-curated the show OH GIRL, IT’S A BOY! at Kunstverein München, and co-edited an issue of the Berlin-based magazine Starship that also launched at Ludlow 38.

Book presentation at NY Art Book Fair, Friday October 24, 2pm Printed Matter and Ludlow 38 present Henrik Olesen’s new book: Some Faggy Gestures – The "Mnemosyne" of sexual identity, published by JRP-Ringier. NY Art Book Fair, 450 West 15th Street, admission is free.

only in german

Kunstverein Munich and Goethe Institute New York present:
Henrik Olesen