Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art
1st March – 13th April 2014
Preview on Friday 28th February from 5 – 8
It’s with great pleasure that Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art opens its doors to the new exhibition, Beyond Reach. To mark the ongoing extension work, and celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Den Frie’s move to Oslo Plads, the 2014 exhibition program will focus on the relationship between art and architecture. We’ve therefore invited four artist duos to show new works, each of whom operating within this field, while also representing their own individual area. Each one will make their contribution at the exhibition by showing how – through different artistic strategies and taking direct inspiration from Den Frie’s characteristic spaces – the building can be experienced in very different ways.
Physical perception and the experience of spaces is the recurring focal point of all of these works, despite the duos’ very different working methods and means of expression. Concepts such as ‘absence’ and ‘traces’, and the feeling of something existing out of reach, are central elements in the works – ideas also referred to in Beyond Reach, the exhibition’s title. Additionally, all four duos show a meticulousness in their research which borders on the nerdy, drawing on knowledge and experiences that cut across traditional artistic boundaries. Beyond Reach promises to be an exhibition spanning the entire spectrum – from the all-encompassing, sensory encounter with the surroundings to the illusory staging of architectural space and from the underplayed performative to the historically and theoretically grounded.
AVPD is a Danish duo, comprising artists Aslak Vibæk and Peter Døssing. They have produced all-new works for Den Frie’s exhibition, which in various ways alter our perceptions of space and our spatial movement patterns. By creating ruptures and new spatial constellations, they challenge the architecture and our physical occupation of the space. In one of the works, they’ve created a mirrored passage, showing us new ways to interlink the space and create spatial sequencing of the building.
They describe their own practice as a kind of meta-architecture, with the works often serving as reflections on ways of constructing space.
Bank & Rau work with pieces which literally accommodate people. At Beyond Reach they’re staging the installation ON THE FRINGE OF CIVILIZATION, where, along with various groups of children and adults, they’ve hand-woven a carpet from shredded second-hand clothes. This carpet takes up most of the floor in one of the rooms. The spectators are invited to walk on it, navigating between piles of basins, dishes and plates, all of which hold visible imprints of the hands that made them. Colour marks and traces of the basins can be seen on the carpet, reminding us of the presence and existence of the body, and of the traces we constantly leave behind.
The techniques that Bank & Rau have used to create the carpet and clay objects appear almost like archaeological images of the solutions that people would have devised in the past, in order to manage their everyday lives.
benandsebastian is an artist duo based in Berlin, comprising British Ben Clement and Danish Sebastian de la Cour. Their work is characterized by a very distinctive sculptural and conceptual approach to architecture. At Beyond Reach, benandsebastian presents the work Museum of Nothing, split across two rooms. The first room displays photos of the museum’s objects, serving as an overview of the various departments of the ‘Museum of Nothing’. The other room is densely packed with empty exhibition cases, piled up layer upon layer. The absence of any objects on display turns these cases into complex sculptural constructions; and, through this, benandsebastian reflects on the nature of the institution as both a mental and a physical space, thereby placing a question mark over the tacit authority that we so often attach to institutional settings.
Margrét Bjarnadóttir and Elín Hansdóttir are trained as choreographer and visual artist, respectively, and both hail from Iceland. They can’t really be described as a duo, since they most often work individually. Over time, though, they’ve made several works and spatial installations together. For Beyond Reach, they’re using Den Frie’s empty spaces as the primary materials in their exploration of perception and performativity. Their photo and video works take place in and stage Willumsen’s eight-sided halls, allowing the rooms to fall apart, only in order to be formed again anew. With the anagram ‘DENFRIE – REFINED’ as an introduction to their works, they set out to rediscover the space – by turning what we see, and what we think we see, on its head: what is real and what is illusion?
With the Beyond Reach exhibition, we wish to give the audience an opportunity to experience very different contemporary reflections on the use and orchestration of spaces. This is the first time these four duos will be exhibiting under the same roof and we look forward to seeing their works on display, within the architectural setting of Den Frie Udstillingsbygning.
A catalogue will be published in connection with the exhibition, with images and texts about the works.
For more background on the artists, please visit:
For further information about the exhibition, please contact Exhibition and Press Coordinator Kit Leunbach on firstname.lastname@example.org; or tel. + 45 23 32 86 70.