Don’t You Know You’re Life Itself
An exhibition by Troels Carlsen

A beautiful falcon subdued on an operating table handled by professional anonymous hands. Plumage illuminated by blitz. A strange image. The composition is hard to decipher, accidental amateurish? Professional to the point? A revealing snapshot? It could have been a screen dump from the world wide web’s vast ocean of strange and disconnected images, but painted in oil, in minute detail on a large canvas (160 x 220 cm), the work takes on different dimensions. It sets the tone for Troels Carlsen’s exhibition Don’t You Know You’re Life Itself, a pictorial odyssey equally eerie and darkly humorous. In the new body of work we encounter a series of drunken animals, painted with a reddish brown laze on canvas in a painterly style which comically mimes the genre paintings found in a local pub. A horse is getting hammered, a bear had too much and a dog can’t get up from the corner it has sunken into. These smaller (38,5 x 46,5 cm) animal paintings are all cropped tightly similar to the large oil paintings, emphasizing a contemporary relation to the use of images on social media platforms. A use of images that gets right to the point of focus without to many aesthetic considerations. The drunken animals are faced by a series of watercolours (75 x 55 cm) depicting science fiction like labs. What are the laboratory technicians experimenting with inside these buildings? What kind of data are they accumulating?

Troels Carlsen marvels at the world and slows down the constant stream of images we are surrounded by. Interpreting, translating, imagining, asking “did you see that?”

Troels Carlsen, Born 1973, lives and works in Copenhagen. Recent solo exhibitions includes The Remains of Disappearance, Fondazione Aldega, Amelia, Italy, and Insight & Illusion, Muserum, Skive, Denmark. Insight & Illusion a new book on the work of Troels Carlsen, with a text by Francesca Gavin, was published in November 2015. Don’t You Know You’re Life Itself is Troels Carlsen’s sixth solo exhibition with the Gallery.

Don’t You Know You’re Life itself sings Nina Simone, sings David Bowie, paints Troels Carlsen. For we’re like creatures of the wind. And wild is the wind.