The Show Is over, but the Pictures Are finally up
Future Suburban Contemporary
This exhibition is Danish artist Mikkel Carl’s first retrospective, and it takes place in a small garage in Brønshøj, the very heart of Copenhagen suburbia. Sounds awkward? Well, for starters a surprisingly large number of his works fit well within this peculiar episteme of storage.
Lack of studio space is something that preoccupies the mind of most artists. And between traveling and the daytime job(s) that enable you to pay the rent, there is never enough studio time either. Luckily for Mikkel Carl, he lives in the countryside one hour out of Copenhagen. At least there is plenty of room there, and that is a primary reason why this comprehensive retrospective exhibition is even an option.
Carl has been working as an artist for less than ten years so it might seem a bit early to start dealing with this “identity crisis bound to happen”-format. But in his practice, he has right from the beginning been looking at the possibility of a continuous rewriting of art history via retroactive tracing (French poststructuralist theory meets art historian Hal Forster’s reading of Freud’s concept of Nachträglichkeit – blah blah). And just in general Mikkel Carl likes to recycle older works by reinstalling them within new contexts, or simply by presenting them in similar situations years down the line thereby probing whatever changes the (art) world has seen since their previous time around.
Taking place at Future Suburban Contemporary even the name of the venue lends itself perfectly to Mikkel Carl’s crisscrossing of time and place. Hence, the works will not be shown in a ”regular” fashion, meaning paintings on the walls, sculptures in the middle of the floor, presented in some chronological or thematic order. Rather, the plausible presence of each particular object within a fully loaded garage in the suburbs is the primary curatorial criteria: A reverse readymade-strategy of sorts. It is not about the ”shock” of seeing an everyday object within the context of art, but about more or less seamlessly embedding art objects – most of which are in themselves riffs on Duchampian methodology – in a not immediately recognizable art context. Even if suburban garages due to the ever-expanding gentrification in the cities might very well be the next new thing. In some cases, it is therefore only the accompanying title and list of materials that reveal the aesthetical dimension of the objects at hand.
by Jens Ivar Kjetså, artist and director of FSC
TOKYO DRIFT, 2016
Sand cast aluminum
38 x 38 x 4.5cm
Someday a Real Rain Will Come and Wash all the Scum off the Streets