Lake of Fire is an exhibition that attempts to update the notion of ?readymade? while taking a fresh look at the avant-garde. It began with bus tickets and small pieces of woven chair seats in the cubistic collages, and then came dada and Duchamp?s bottle rack, snow shovel, and urinal. On the other hand there were idealistic constructivist reliefs made of scrap metal succeeded by the industrial fetish of minimalism. And after Rauschenberg?s angora goat with a car tyre wrapped around its belly came pop art?s successful fusion of commercial motives with a media conscious grasp of the artistic myth.
With the exhibition Lake of Fire Danish artist and curator Mikkel Carl wants to investigate the art historic notions of ?readymade? and ?appropriation? from a contemporary point of view. Many artists today find it especially productive to have commerce with this particular part of the avant-garde heritage ? an ability to precisely pick out and recombine, which has always been essential for collage, readymade, assemblage and appropriation.
In very different ways 18 Danish and international artist address what it takes to create a new meaning based on the manifold meanings already in place. The artists tend to focus on the very logic controlling the associations aroused in the beholder encountering the physical art object ? a kind of sensuous grammar. The immediate integration of everyday objects, often combined with direct references to art history, has never really been incompatible with the artist?s individual approach. But the question remains: What do we call such an artistic strategy?
Lake of Fire is the title of a song immortalized by the grunge prodigies of Nirvana shortly before Kurt Cobain?s suicide. But ?Lake of Fire? is also a passage in The Devine Comedy, a work by which Dante the poet turned an entire universe of medieval art, philosophy and faith into his own. Thus, the title crosses the border between fine art and pop, art and life ? an endeavour that has always been the avant-garde trademark.
Amanda Taarup Betz (DK), Mikkel Carl (DK), Ryan Gander (UK), Lasse Schmidt Hansen (DK), Jeanette Hillig (DK), Uffe Holm (DK), Jytte Høy (DK), Henrik Plenge Jakobsen (DK), Alicja Kwade (PL), Maria Loboda (PL), Heine Thorhauge Mathiasen (DK), Rasmus Høj Mygind (DK), Rolf Nowotny (DK), Henrik Olesen (DK), Lars Bent Petersen (DK), Kasper Sonne (DK), Ulrik Weck (DK) and Pernille Kapper Williams (DK).
Berlin 2012, 68 pages, ill., 33 x 24 cm, Softcover, English