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At Most Sphere
Troels Carlsen's second solo exhibition at V1 Gallery
Troels Carlsen has attracted considerable attention on the international art scene with his concise questions to human existence. In his art he has often circled around humanism in conjunction with and opposition to nature - especially by staging apes in human settings. Troels Carlsen's primates have often played the lead, for instance as presidential candidates from distant decades and helpless victims in dark laboratories.
The exhibition At Most Sphere penetrates Troels Carlsen's earlier motifs. They are transformed into hors d'ouevres for themes that all revolve around destruction and resurrection. By detourning and appropriating existing visual worlds Troels Carlsen challenges the notion of a given and complete truth and at the same time he hints that reality could be hiding somewhere behind the apparent foreground. The exhibition unfolds in the field of tension between body and mind, past and present, animal and human, logic and feeling, art and science.
A drugged out monkey in clinical surroundings gives new life to a gigantic romantic rose. Vintage anatomy posters, minutely mapping out the human body's internal organs, are slashed by mythological landscapes and enigmatic black holes. Sparks ignite a fiery deconstruction of history and in the process it turns dust to soil. The spectator is left to wonder whether the spark is caused by the monkey in the little black box, confined from doing anything but light matches with its tale? Or whether the kindle is the essence of the possibilities that Troels Carlsen sees in the human anatomy.
With his tongue firmly planted in his cheek Troels Carlsen breathes idealism into old pictures and forgotten beings while distorting our social, biological and historical heritage. The almost ritual circumcisions of the works' original motifs allow one cycle of life to move to a new one. But the scar remains, reminding us of the old. Troels Carlsen's works join the philosophical discussion of whether the moment is fleeting - or part of a greater ongoing progress and ultimately the evolutionary tale. The discussion is present in all parts of the exhibition, from the choice of material (which is mostly found objects), to art history's great movements such as romanticism and symbolism and finally Darwin's evolution theories.
In 2006, V1 Gallery presented Troels Carlsen's exhibition Ape Savant. Since then his works have been exhibited in the praised Mad Love at Arken Museum for Contemporary Art (DK) and the successful group exhibition Islands at Seventeen (London). And in the near future Troels Carlsen's work will be shown in the group exhibition The Destruction of Atlantis at Union Gallery (London).
The soundtrack accompanying the opening of At Most Sphere is arranged in collaboration with Classy Mondays.Download PDF