5. 12. 2017-8. 2. 2018
Opening 5/12/ 2017 18:00
Curator: Michal Novotný, Lumír Nykl
Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA, Holečkova 49, Praha 5
Is it possible to fulfil dreams by your will, is it worth to chase for a sense in a devastatingly changing world? Is it better to withdraw into a subjective world, flee into the arms of nature and turn into your own inner world? Anders Grønlien could be: - a forest troll with a noisy feedbacking guitar on crouching on a raft in the middle of a pond in the Prachov Rocks next to a tea house? - a kneeling ritualist dressed in a costume made from a fabric used in the Catholic para liturgic processes in Cordoba, covered with a patch, in which the (pre)Islamic ornament overlap in the free symmetry? - a neo-romantic painter and sculptor with a subjective imagination, working intuitively but with a sense of mystical meanings, perceiving nature in a melancholic manner and transmitting its image onto the canvas with a sentimental effort to re-present the "hieroglyphic" language of nature?
The early romantic image of nature as the world of spirit and symbols that a human revives for himself is hidden in every misty colour spot. Many years ago, art was supposed to blend with nature in one, but instead, nature was exploited by western painting, just as nature had been transformed into resources in favour of logic based on industrialisation and market. The early modern attempts to search for a new comprehensible allegory in the sense of the intuitively understood natural signs of the image have, in the recent art, been shown to be confident in the general comprehensibility of mass-spread commercial codes and corporate meaning formulas. Artists such as Anders Grønlien flee from this position to the vision of a universally communicative sense of nature.
The meaning of Aries’ skull at the foot of a half-clothes hunter with a javelin lies somewhere between the self-irony of astronomical memes and the sacrificing of obsolete masculinity on the altar of irreversible future-to-be. Understanding the parable of a tree of life with roots in a meeting point of four rivers can only be as fragmentary as a keyhole in the shape of a Moorish arc. The colonial heritage of the uprooting of ancient cultural patterns overshadows the possibility of understanding the mythological elements otherwise present across cultures. A similarly picturesque forest scene with a fox and a cave can be interpreted as a sophisticated visual commentary on the Renaissance heritage of Plato's philosophy, as well as the doom metal joke about stoner’s crib. Stylishly related neo-pagan costumes and props are then preserved as an exposition of the Ethnographic Museum situated in a walking distance from the gallery, including a refined sound design installation of field recordings of rain and intermittent flow of the stream. The symbolic meanings seem as mysterious as the water flowing from the marine fjord to the inland.
The cornerstone is a relief-based ritual of fertility being done by sprinkling with a cone. It puts into motion the whole intertwined structure of incarnate meanings: The value of paternity and desire for proximity and the cycle of procreation, birth, education, loss and alienation. The suppressed and overwhelming consciousness of the swift changes that spark over the horizon of a privileged Northwest perspective. Detained catastrophes and displaced inequalities invade the world with a strength of waterfall that knocks our face to wet Andalusian tiles mirroring Norwegian landscape. Meditation in front of the gates of the Garden of Eden varies with the rift of the ritual javelin in the indictment of the world of fences that divide mankind as sadness over the existence of the boundaries that we stand between ourselves by not being able to see the consequences of our actions in good faith to change for the better.
5. Bad influence. The silhouettes behind you. Like people say something to you, and you always change, and this goes up to the point you lose your head, you don’t need it anymore.
6. And this is for example also this picture. I did it when I was 19, at the school in Ústí. I was taking photos at that time, but simply they told me at the school, that it is bad. Everybody said, it is bad, so I erased it all and stopped photographing. Which I wouldn’t do now. It wasn’t conceptual enough. I started at new media and was interested more in the aesthetics, not in concepts. Never understood, what the other students are saying, how they speak three hours and then have one paper on the wall. After I tried to fit myself in, but it simply didn’t work. Because I don’t want it, there doesn’t have to be this thing, that you refer to those other artists. When I was in Berlin, there is loads of artists. Too many. Typically everyone says he is an artist. And maybe it doesn’t matter finally, what works they do, but that they are happy to do it, they really enjoy doing it. And I think here, people don’t have this joy.
7. This is kitsch. The pink one is exactly the Mattel one. Those fucking expensive barbies. And that’s also the selling of one’s own, either you sell yourself, and that is also to bury yourself a bit, right? But to also to somehow exhibit yourself. You have to exhibit yourself, to completely change your vision.
8. This was originally hanging in the German offices. As I had this studio in Berlin, it was in an empty abandoned jobcentre. And the bureaucrats there, they had those things as decorations for their offices. And it’s all fake. This is some cheap wallpaper, this is chipboard. And the embroidery I found in the trash. And if you look from the back, you see it’s hand made. I liked the contrast. Something coming from really a lot of work and here, this complete fake, that pretends to be the high art.
9. And the horse, the highlight of the show. It’s a man. The relationships. It tumbles down in your life and destroys everything, like the horse when we pluck it here through the gallery doors. And then after in the relation you swing up and down. It’s not like you would ever stop, and the one who stays up wins. (assembled by Michal Novotný)