press release

A bucket, a lamp and a room are turned into a meeting between the recognizable and the unreal. Everyday objects and situations are pushed to extremes in the exhibition Nail Soup. Through cunning constellations, absurd scenes and subtle glints of humour, the exhibition challenges our customary approach to the world as it appears before our eyes.

The exhibition displays photographic as well as sculptural works. The artistic approach renders possible new and unaccustomed angles on our being-in-the-world. Due to the two-dimensional space of the photograph and the spaciousness of the sculpture, the exhibiting artists are capable of creating small cracks and displacements in the surroundings as we know them.

From an artistic point of view, these meetings between familiar objects and surreal constellations raise questions about the attributes of the objects across the borders of the photograph and the sculpture as media. What makes an object a sculpture? When does an object serve as a motif for a photographic work? And, when is the photograph merely a recording of the presence of the object or sculpture?

The title of the exhibition, Nail Soup alludes to the folktale about a tramp making soup with a nail, or, put differently, about creating something out of nothing. Narratives are arranged in the exhibited universe of everyday articles, utensils, pieces of furniture and odd scenes no longer restricted to the functions and meaning ascribed to them in everyday life. Instead, they are turned upside down, mutating and transforming into mysterious and open narratives.

Jeanette Hillig (DK). Already existing objects are put into different contexts in Hillig’s sculptures. Consisting of two buckets, one rake and thick, flowing paint, the taut composition of one of the exhibited works is transformed into sculptural forms. The attributes of the objects used in Hillig’s sculptures – their characteristic form or their original function – are reshaped and weaved into the aesthetic expression of the works. Her works alternate between abstract painting, sculpture and readymades.

Erwin Wurm (AT). Characteristic of Wurm’s works is an ongoing examination of the constitution and definition of a sculpture. By employing different media – from everyday objects to the human body – Wurm explores the potentiality of the sculptural form. In his work, ‘St. Paul’s Pullover,’ a blue pullover is transformed into a sculptural object. Turning into pure form, the pullover becomes unrecognizable.

Uffe Holm (DK). A similar examining approach to the object is visible in Holm’s works. Here, the individual physical object and its relation to its surroundings constitute the conceptual and simple expression in the works. We recognize the concrete objects, but our experience of them is put into another context. The objects lose their original function, paving the way for a different frame of understanding, and a recognition of what we see – the object in its physical form – and the way we interpret it.

Jakob Hunosøe (DK). By means of cunning scenes of found objects, Hunosøe creates anthropomorphous figures in the photographic works exhibited. Items similar in terms of utilization are compiled in subtle ways; cleaning utensils where a bucket is transformed into a head and mops into legs, or the interior of a hotel room which is given body and shape in a humorous way. Playing with the performative element of the objects’ mutation from everyday objects to sculptural figures, these tableaux point to the act forming the basis of the scene.

Taiyo Onorato & Nico Kreb (CH). Onorato and Kreb explore in their works the picture space of the photograph and the potentiality of this limited angle. In one of the works, ‘Bed Street,’ a road cuts its way through a landscape of duvets and fabric towards an illuminiated infinity. By the same token, in the work ‘Pommes Frites,’ the dimensions are reversed as a coterie of French fries marches through wild mountain scenery like an army. The picture space is shaped as a sculptor shapes his material, the artists’ small quibbling and disturbing interventions playing with reality as we know it.

David Shrigley (UK). The simple line known particularly from Shrigley’s drawings is a recurrent feature in the simple compositions in the exhibited photographic works. His witty and humorous statements and scenes change between the light and the dark as in the work ‘Pigeon with Hole,’ in which a pigeon appears morbidly with a hole in its small skeleton, allowing the viewer to catch a glimpse inside the hole of the road and the houses behind. Shrigley presents the frequently irrational and droll motifs in his works in a both melancholic and entertaining manner.

Susanne Hesselberg (S/N). Narratives are staged in Susanna Hesselberg’s pictorial universe. What seems to be an everyday situation in her photographic work, ‘Pinstripe,’ is disturbed by misplaced and surreal elements. As in Shrighley’s works, the humour encoded in Hesselberg’s pictures is not unambiguous. The motifs and the depicted situations are both comical and surprising. At the same time, though, a touch of melancholy and earnestness affects the viewer’s first impression, allowing the narrative to take shape.

About the artists

Jakob Hunosøe (born 1975) is a graduate from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He has a number of solo and group exhibitions to his credit, e.g. ‘This Way 07’ at Brandts, Museet for Fotokunst, Odense (2007), and ‘Overgangen’ at Gammelgaard, Herlev (2007). Most recently, he participated in ‘Plat(t)form 09’ at Fotomuseum Winterthur.

Susanna Hesselberg (born 1967) is a graduate from the Art Academy in Trondheim and Malmö. She has a wide range of exhibitions behind her, among these a group exhibition at Fotografins rum, Kommendanthuset, Malmö (2007), and solo exhibitions at Örebro Museum (2007) and VIDA Museum (2006).

Uffe Holm (born 1976) graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2007. Since then, he has participated in the group exhibitions ‘Urban Pedestrals’ in Helsinki and ‘Breathe In, Breathe Out’ at Koh-i-noor (2008).

Taiyo Onorato (born 1979) and Nico Krebs (born 1979) has been an artist duo since 2003. They studied photography at Zürich University of Art and Design. Onorato and Kreb have held solo exhibitions at the Swiss Institute, New York (2008) Wartesaal Perla, Zürich (2007), P.S. 1 MoMA, New York (2006) and Fokus Switzerland at EGO Gallery, Barcelona (2005).

Jeanette Hillig (born 1977) is a gradute from Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt, and, finishing her studies here in 2008, from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. She has exhibited her works at Galleri Veggerby, Copenhagen, Koh-i-noor, Copenhagen, and, later this year, Bredgade Kunsthandel, Copenhagen, will present her solo exhibition, ‘Kompost.’

Erwin Wurm (born 1954) has held prominent solo exhibitions, e.g. at the Drawing Center, New York (2001), Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2002) and, most recently, at Kunstverein Arnsberg and at Malmö Kunstmuseum (2008). Moreover, Wurm participated in the Venice Biennale (2001) and in the ‘Tempo’ exhibition at MoMA, New York (2002). Wurm is a graduate from Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, and Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, 1979-82. He has taught at Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst since 2002.

David Shrigley (born 1968) is a graduate from the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland. He has a wide range of exhibitions behind him. Most recently, he participated in group exhibitions at Maribel Lópea Gallery, Berlin, and at Galleri Wallner, Copenhagen (2008). His latest solo exhibition took place at Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (2009).

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Künstler: Susanna Hesselberg, Jakob Hunosoe, David Shrigley, Erwin Wurm, Uffe Holm, Jeanette Hillig, Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs