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Pla¥, bronze, ⌀150 x d4,5 cm. Odense City Sculpture Triennial, 2021



A gigantic bronze coin stands upright, pressed into the grass and soil of the park – as if a giant had had the coin in its hand, and tried to stick it into the earth in a stupid attempt to give nature back its minerals – or as if the earth itself was a slot machine.

   The work touches upon different anthropogenic issues, such as the conversion of natural resources into profit, which won’t be able to be exchanged, as well as a societal and technological development whose only global concord seems to be growth.

   The front of the coin presents a sort of tree of life or fertility goddess with her head surrounded by different kinds of wildlife. Its erotic appearance reflects the comprehensive force of attraction in kingdom of plants and animals, as well as a human desire in the guise of a naked female body.

    Unlike the heteronormative view on gender and sexuality dominating most of society, wild nature makes up an endlessly broad spectrum for sex, gender, reproduction and symbiotic relationships, like the hermaphroditism of snails and plants, or the co-existence across different species such as lichen, which is a mix between fungi and algae.

 

 


 

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Pla¥, bronze, ⌀150 x d4,5 cm. Odense City Sculpture Triennial, 2021



The back of the coin presents some kind of trickster – a dancing jellyfish with four eyes. According to the theory of The Rise of Slime (Jeremy Jackson, 2008), in the future, as a consequence of oxygen depletion, climate change, overfishing and pollution, it will only be the most primitive organisms, like jellyfish, algae and bacteria, who will be capable of living in the oceans.

   The extinction of the diverse marine life, that has emerged through many millions of years of evolution, will have fatal consequences for the life on earth, which is so deeply dependent of – and symbiotically connected with – the ecosystems of the sea.

   Thus, the two-parted shape of the work contains different narratives. On one side, it contemplates being viewed in the shadow of human actions. On the other side, it can be viewed as a kind of tree of life, in a mythological as well as a biological sense. Furthermore, the coin appeals to something semiotically incorporated in modern human beings – a sort of archetypical symbol of wealth, luck, or growth, to which the opportunistic part of consciousness is automatically drawn. Like that, the coin in its gigantic shape can be seen as a materialization of human desire, and a symbolic redistribution of this vital force, down into the earth and out in the planetary.  


Pla¥ has been realized with support from: The Danish Arts Foundation and Grosserer L.F. Foghts Fond

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re:prʘductiʘn - Køgevej 5 - Museum of Contemporary art, Roskilde, 2021



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re:prʘductiʘn - Køgevej 5 - Museum of Contemporary art, Roskilde, 2021



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re:prʘductiʘn looks into natural processes, like sex, reproduction and symbiosis, from both a human and non-human perspective.

 

On the roof of an old cooling tower, a neon sign with bright colors signifies that the building has been given a new life. The sign is inspired by various species of lichen – a composite organism made up of fungi living in a symbiotic relationship with algae. 

 

The discovery of how lichen is composed of both mushroom and algae (Simon Schwendener 1867) led to the term symbiosis (Albert Frank 1877). 

 

While algae draw energy from sunlight (photosynthesis), mushroom feeds on other organisms (living or dead), and is taxonomically more comparable to animals than plants. With lichen covering 7-8 % of the planet’s surface, it’s a most common and evident example of symbiosis between species of radical different natures. 

 

The neon sign atop of the building attempts to give these exemplary organisms attention, at the same time it alludes to sex shops and advertisements found in major cities. 

 

The inside of the cooling tower can be viewed through peepholes in the walls. In there, wooden sculptures, depicting overgrown amphibians, dwell in the mud. Like the building itself, the sculptures are being eaten by organisms transforming dead material into new growth. Different species of fungi grow out of the sculptures. The fungi are kept damp by steam, billowing from a plateau in the middle of the room. On top of the plateau lies a flower made of sugar and isomalt. Like the stamens of real flowers, the sculpture attracts various insects, but in contrast to the pollination, which typically takes place between flowers and bees, the sculpture makes no contribution to reproduction in nature. On the contrary, it acts as a kind of false nectar, that robs nature’s real flowers of the possibility of being pollinated, since the insects will be more attracted to the artificial sugar flower. 

 

During the exhibition period, re:prʘductiʘn will become a breeding ground for non-human life forms and human fantasies alike.

 

 

re:prʘductiʘn is supportet by the Danish Arts Foundation.

 

re:prʘductiʘn is part of the group show ‘Bubbles – an art route through the city’, with studio collective 51cth, organized by Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde

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Love Your Monsters - Shabu Shabu w. Anders Brinch · Store Tårn, Christiansø, 2020

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Love Your Monsters - Shabu Shabu w. Anders Brinch · Store Tårn, Christiansø, 2020

Love Your Monsters


I et fyrtårn, en del af en gammel søfæstning på den alleryderste kant af Danmark, vokser en sær verden frem, fuld af monstrøse skabninger, egenrådig teknologi og utæmmede planter, der spirer vildt og forgrener sig ud i det runde rum. Love Your Monsters er en opdagelsesrejse ind i en muteret natur, en postapokalypse, hvor monster og menneske ikke er hinandens modsætninger. Udstillingen er lavet af kunstnerduoen Shabu Shabu, der består af Anders Brinch og Silas Inoue, som sammen har skabt en totalinstallation, der gror frem som et omsorgsfuldt fremtidsscenarie i udstillingslokalet i Store Tårn på Christiansø.

Udstillingens titel er hentet fra den franske filosof Bruno Latours essay Love Your Monsters (2012), hvor han ser Mary Shellys gotiske klassiker Frankenstein som et billede på det moderne menneskes største fejltagelse: at vi ikke har forstået at drage en opmærksom omsorg for vores teknologiske frembringelser. Det er ikke Dr. Frankensteins monster i sig selv, der er problemet – men derimod doktorens manglende omsorg for sin skabning, der udgrænser den fra samfundet og overhovedet gør den til et monster. Bruno Latour afviser myten om, at mennesket kan adskille sig fra naturen gennem teknologi og hævder i stedet, at vi bliver draget mere og mere ind i de økosystemer, der understøtter os. Men sammenblandingen af natur og teknologi er ikke noget dårligt, måske snarere noget vi bør dyrke og respektere. Når vi udforsker det ukendte, skriver Latour, må vi hele tiden forvente det uventede.


Love Your Monsters er en forestilling om en verden, hvor menneske, natur og teknologi nærer hinanden og sameksisterer i endnu ukendte økosystemer. Her blander robotter sig med menneskelignende kæmpegopler og hundredvis af vækster, der for en stund har taget bolig i Store Tårn på Christiansø – som en påmindelse om, at det monstrøse lever i os selv.

Dette er tredje udstilling hvor Anders Brinch & Silas Inoue samarbejder under navnet Shabu Shabu, der også er navnet på en traditionel japansk fondueret – en social ret som man sammensætter, tilbereder og spiser sammen. Ideen med Shabu Shabu er netop en form for kunstnerisk ”hotpot” – en ikke- fastdefineret platform, hvor forskellige ideer og eksperimenter kan afprøves i skiftende lokaliteter og konstellationer af udstillinger.


Udstillingen er støttet af: Statens Kunstfond, Statens Værksteder for Kunst, Sparekassen Bornholms Fond


Tekst af: Nanna Stjernholm.

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l∞p, Installation view, Tableau Copenhagen, 2020

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l∞p, Installation view, Tableau Copenhagen, 2020

World Pop Drummer, 2017, (animated by Ben Wheele) in stainless steel frame, 125 x 73 x 15 cm. 2020

Forever Friture, computer merged in friture oil, (animated by Ben Wheele), 2019

l∞p


Silas Inoue´s exhibition l∞p at TABLEAU presents a sticky, yet mesmerizing aesthetic of immortality, situated in an undetermined stage between biology, technology and religion.

 

For a long time, the idea of immortality has occupied man – ever since the earliest religions, to the present day, where rapidly growing technologies make prospects of eternal life seem plausible. Influenced by our yearnings and fears of the infinite, the exhibition wavers between bliss and existential claustrophobia. Sugar-made organisms as well as disassembled computers are sunken into cooking oil, and animated deities intertwine with TABLEAU’s ritualistic flower arrangements, specifically made for the exhibition.

 

TABLEAU and Silas Inoue both incorporate in their work the concept of life and growing organisms. Working with flowers is ephemeral while Inoue’s focuses on the concept of immortality. In that way, the artist’s work and TABLEAU’s universe resonate.


Inoue’s Future Friture series depicts enlarged miniature organisms such as the freshwater Cnidarian ‘Hydra’ and the jellyfish ‘Turritopsis dohrnii’. While the first inhabits temperate and tropical regions over the world, the second lives in the Mediterranean and Japanese sea. In nature, these organisms have a rather special life cycle; they revert into an immature state only to grow old again later on in a continuous process. This alternation between old and young is making them somehow immortal – a phenomenon which for long has occupied researchers in the field of regeneration studies.

 

In the video work World Pop Drummer, a demonic creature is beating the drum in an irregular rhythm. The animation is WiFi-connected, and the rhythm is actually based on a statistical estimate of the increasing world population, calculated by deducting the birthrate from the significantly lower death rate. This means that every drumbeat represents an additional human life on the planet. Thus, the work draws rhythmic attention to a rapidly growing world population, and a resource scarcity that opposes the individual's desire for immortality.

 

It is speculated that, sometime in the future, eternal life can be achieved in a virtual world by uploading the consciousness into the cloud. The video work Forever Friture animates such a digital afterlife. A disassembled computer sunken into cooking oil (similar to the technology used by datacenters to save energy) is used as media player for an eternal upward movement into the skies, referencing both religious ideas of the afterlife and cloud computing.


The concept of l∞p is according to Inoue “like a snake eating its own tail – a fantasy of self-preservation in the age of ecological collapse and pending catastrophes.” 


The exhibition is supported by: Grosserer L.F. Foghts Fond, The Danish Arts Foundation, and The Council for Visual Artists for the City of Copenhagen