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Nº 5 Week 35, 2014
This week we’ve hooked up with a young Danish artist who’s works engages the ideology of contemporary capitalist society – we have parred him with a Norwegian artists run space which has it’s own way of dealing with the traditional structures of commerciality.
Asbjørn Skou’s work investigates the intersections between architecture, culture, power and memory, and the talk we had with him about modernity and the collapse of future will resonate for quite some time.
The Norwegian artist run exibition space Tidens Krav has an interesting system for trying to get more profit for the artists – and more diversity in the people acquiring works of art.
All work photos courtesy of the artist for more information and individual titles please check out Skou’s website here
Danish artist Asbjørn Skou works with a wide range of media to create artworks that serve as a form of spatial research and communication.
His work investigates the intersections between architecture, culture, power and memory and is often documental, rooted in observation and intricate research.
We invited him for a walk through one of the rapidly developing and increasingly gentrified areas in the south of Copenhagen.
Within the recent past the area has sprouted office buildings, luxury apartments and a massive expansion of the University of Copenhagen.
Written by Erik Duckert
Photos by Martin Kurt Haglund
As we photograph one of the smooth glass buildings in the area
a local resident shouts in passing:
LOCAL: “I fucking hate that building – it has no place here!
I saw some tourists taking photographs of it the other day, told them they could bring it back home with them when they left.”
He strides towards the old red-bricked workers quarters opposite the campus area.
As we move deeper into the constructed landscape Asbjørn Skou elaborates on his practice.
SKOU: “We move around in this reality compiled of glossy post-post realities of perfect screens and perfect buildings, perfect people, perfect cityscapes – that’s why I think the cracks are so important to focus on.”
S: “I am interested in the science-fictionalized narratives of everyday architectural objects – of the chain-link fence, the landfill, the elevator, the high-way underpass, the multi-story parking lot, the pedestrian tunnel, the neon light and the odd dead angle where two walls don’t quite meet.”
Asbjørn Skou (b. 1984) graduated from the Academy of art in Bremen, Germany 2009. In addition to working in the public space he has also exhibited on museums and galleries in Europe and the United States.
S: “It is about choosing to see the margins of things as a space with a radical potential for openness. One where the anchorage for our understanding of object, architecture and history is potentially shattered, and new explorations in perspective and meanings become possible.“
S: “On different levels my work comments on the architecture and city planning that surround us.
We move into the vast desolate campus area of Copenhagen University’s new Faculty of Human Sciences.
“The only true utopian architecture is the architect’s drawing; the moment the drawing is actualized it is polluted by reality – no longer utopian but factual”
S: “Most of my artworks share a reference point in the construction and dissolution of built environment. From fictionalized archaeology carried out in modern ruins, to rudimentary scale models and collages depicting collapsing spaces – constructed from digitally generated architectural plans.
They suggest a future archaeological ground, constructed from fragments of a psychosphere of infrastructure – one that has been plunged, catastrophically, into a state of geographical and chronological abjection.”
S: “Contemporary culture has put its faith in an ideology of progress: Progress will make things better!
However the whole thing seems driven forth only by our faith in ‘the drive'; what happens when this faith fails to ring true, in the light of for example economic downturn, ecological catastrophes, rising fear of terrorism, crime and global pandemics?
But even more fundamentally: When the only inherent ideological content of the bright n’ shiny future is a promise of further enhancing already existing commodities, it collapses into undefined longing – dissolves and becomes mere nostalgia for a future.”
All images courtesy of Tidens Krav, for more information and individual titles please visit their website here
Lately artist run exhibition platforms have gained new momentum on the Scandinavian art scene.
The spaces come in different sizes, have different lifespans and at times very different ideological pursuits. Common for them all, though, is that they depend on the goodwill of artists ready to invest their time in creating alternatives to the commercial galleries and government institutions.
Artist run spaces can be difficult to spot when browsing mainstream media so in every issue of Opaque we’ll give a short presentation of a space that we think you should pay a visit to.
Tidens Krav is an artist run enterprise located in the last down town block of scruffiness; the final frontier of Oslo low-life, in the middle of Oslo high life.
The name, Tidens Krav, is a language specific expression that translates into “Time’s Demand”, or more loosely into “Whatever required by the now”.
In search of new ways of engaging the capital structures of the art marked Tidens Krav introduce The Newest Standard
TK: “Whenever an artwork is sold at Tidens Krav the money is split equally between the exhibiting artist and Tidens Krav.
Tidens Krav’s share is spent solely on rent. The remaining profit, after the rent has been paid, is re-routed back to the buyers – but – only artists who buy art can claim their fair share of the remaining profit.
This means that any profit made from non-artists buying art will be shared amongst artists buying art. All the profit, from now and until the summer of 2014, will be shared amongst all the artists who buys art at Tidens Krav.
The size of each artist’s share is calculated in direct relation to the size of the amount spent on art in the first place.”