press release

It is a great pleasure to present an exhibition with Jakob Kolding. A selection of new collages revolves around different aspects of town planning and life in the city and in suburbia. Juxtaposing suburban blocks, images of dj's, hip hoppers, graffiti, Starwars, computer games, malls, public art works and single-family house areas, Kolding examines the complex socio-economical and political conditions of city life.

Kolding's work stems from his own experiences of growing up in a rigidly planned new town suburb. This type of town planning originates from a generation of utopian architects from the fifties and sixties. e.g. Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. The discrepancy between ideology and ideals on the one hand and the actual living conditions on the other hand is in fact a failure of this kind of structural and logical planning of space. Kolding is interested in how town planning tries to incorporate various social activities in modelling a future town (e.g. recreational areas, playgrounds, traffic division) and how these theoretical approaches are inadequate and cannot take the actual living conditions into account. Kolding uses statements from architectural theory that thematize various aspects of town planning and opposes them to playful and chaotic images and drawings. The rigid architecture and the prejudice against it, is in his work dissolved by images of pop cultural activities that merge from suburban blocks and bring life to them. A town is not static, it is characterized by the people who inhabit it.

The inhabitants succeed in creating a personal space in the blocks of conformity. Different socio-cultural aspects create and invade the space and make it dynamic. Kolding uses images of graffiti, local football teams, public art works, science fiction movies, comics, hip hoppers, the malls of consumer culture and computer games as an illustration of life in suburbia. All these aspects of city culture constitute social identities and local affiliations. They function as different approaches to Kolding's work where some spectators may identify with the subcultural elements while others focus on the references to modernist art and architecture. His non-hierarchic representation of high and low is presented in the cut-up sampled technique that characterizes the collage as a media. Not only do his very aesthetic and refined collages have a formal affinity with Russian Constructivism, El Lissitsky, Rodchenko and Bauhaus, they also resemble the making of the electronic, sampled music of pop culture.

Jakob Kolding has recently made the cover for the new Saint Etienne album. He has exhibited in museums and institutions in North America, Europe and Asia. This is his second solo exhibition in Galleri Nicolai Wallner. Pressetext

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Jakob Kolding