Fate Takes A Hand
A solo exhibition by Troels Carlsen

V1 Gallery proudly presents Fate Takes a Hand a new solo exhibition by Troels Carlsen (DK). The exhibition, created during the span of the past year, unfolds through a wide variety of media including drawing, collage, appropriation, painting and installation. The preceding year also marks a subtle change in Carlsen’s choice of subject matter and narrative style.

One does not have to stay long in Fate Takes a Hand, before registering that the exhibition revolves around its title, fate does need a hand. In order to navigate the random brutality and vast possibilities of existence, you have to take an active part and get your hands dirty. Otherwise you might end up shipwrecked on the wrong coast. Frozen cinematic scenarios depict human routes and it is in the hands of the beholder to create both prologue and aftermath. In almost all Carlsen’s works we are submerged in the moment, in medias res, we do not know if this moment is decisive, the second that life changes path, but we sense in suspense, that it is just around the bend, a little further down the river. Troels Carlsen’s exhibition is in motion, we are in motion, with or without our will. A man stumbles through a riverbed in a North American mountain tableau - on the run? - on his way where? In another work a bird is held tightly by a scratched human hand. In a wall-mounted installation, seven restless skeletons hover towards the ceiling, reminding us that life is lived in the presence of death. An installation of a modified, carnivalesque looking, vending machine seems to offer us another go at a happier round with life. Water, birds, hands, often bandaged, covered eyes, human migration and a note of Americana are recurring motifs in the exhibition, which has its own language and map. Troels Carlsen’s visual language is diverse. Many of the works are created on, and in interaction with, vintage anatomical charts, maps and antique book pages. Carlsen’s style is untimely figurative, sublimely precise and intimately surreal. In his work there is an ongoing melting process between the biologically charted and the human consciousness. It does not feel like a contradiction, rather like a curious question. Who or what determines our fate?

Fate Takes a Hand is a journey up the river, with no set destination. Passengers will have to handle the map themselves.

Troels Carlsen, born 1973, was selected, by Volta Art Fair, for a special focus presentation at the 2010 edition of the fair in Basel. In collaboration with Edition Copenhagen (fine print makers), he created a special lithography on the occasion. Last year he had his first solo exhibition in Berlin, Germany, and later this year he will have his first solo exhibition in Valencia, Spain. Troels Carlsen’s work has received critical acclaim from international art critics, collectors and institutions. Fate Takes a Hand is Troels Carlsen’s third solo exhibition with V1 Gallery.