Art is Life
CHRISTIAN LEMMERZ & LARS TOP-GALIA
Performances with action painting and live concert 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30 August.
In August Copenhagen Contemporary (CC) will be delighted to open the first floor of the art center, containing the new premises of the ambitious learning space CC Studio as well as two site-specific exhibitions. The first floor of B&W’s old welding hall has not been accessible to the public so far, but with the extension of CC Studio together with the opening of CC’s new halls another 2,000 m2 will be devoted to learning programmes and special exhibition and activity formats. In Hall 4, adjacent to CC Studio’s new learning space and workshop, a large playscape by the Swedish artist Jacob Dahlgren will be presented, where guests are invited to join in and participate in the creative process. CC’s new Hall 5 will open with a unique artistic collaboration between the artist Christian Lemmerz and Lars Top-Galia from the rock band Sort Sol, who in the course of six evening performances will create six monumental paintings and audio works in a process of collaborative improvisation.
A large donation from Ole Kirk’s Fond has made it possible to renovate CC's first floor with new workshops and teaching facilities. In addition, Salling Fondene has supported the new exhibition halls, and Elsass Fonden has contributed to the construction of an elevator lift to the great benefit of CC Studio’s future guests.
CC’s learning space, CC Studio, provides facilities, activities and learning programmes for children and young people centred around the idea of collaborative experience. The idea behind CC Studio is to present contemporary art in innovative ways where learning and reflection about the world happen through a physical and dialogue-based encounter with art. CC believes that art is a unique starting-point for learning. Art can provide a framework for shared experiences, activities, play and conversations and constitute the basis for a formative development which turns us into active and engaged citizens.
The learning centre’s new first-floor premises, equipped with workshops, learning and exhibition spaces, allow CC to offer outstanding art programmes to children and
Every year CC invites an international artist/artists’ group to create a playscape in CC Studio; an installation of works which the art centre’s guests may touch, interact with, enter, play with and help to create themselves. CC Studio will be offering a variety of programmes designed for institutions and families with children, but also for students attending upper secondary school, companies and other groups that might be interested.
Art is Life
To mark the opening of the learning center, CC Studio, we are pleased to present the exhibition Art
is Life featuring works by the Swedish artist Jacob Dahlgren. In our new hall 4, it unfolds like a playscape, an exhibition comprising large-scale sculptural installations co-created by CC's visitors.
The exhibition title, Art is Life, refers to the way Dahlgren observes and involves everyday life in his artistic practice. His materials are often sourced from DIY stores, supermarkets, or ironmonger shops – places he often visits. Art is Life juxtaposes utility objects such as saws, bathroom scales, and dartboards in huge numbers for his serial works. When repeated, they are robbed of their original practical functions, instead becoming geometric abstract colourful works taking their form from the shapes of the objects. With his works, Jacob Dahlgren enters into a long art-historical tradition of using readymades where he adds everyday objects to his works as humorous touches and a way to link art with everyday life.
In the largest installation in the exhibition I, The World, Things, Life, visitors are invited to throw darts at a gigantic wall plastered in dartboards. Another example is a work made up of more than three hundred bathroom scales placed on the floor, so that visitors can see the figures see-sawing on the displays when walking from one to the next. Being part of his work Peinture Abstraite, taking the form of an online autobiography on Instagram and Tumblr, Dahlgren photographs himself every day wearing a striped T-shirt and shares it digitally.The exhibition at CC gives children and adults the opportunity to take photos of themselves wearing striped T-shirts and everyone is welcome to share the portrait on social media or hang it on a white wall in the exhibition.
Art is Life invites visitors to become co-creators of the works and the art experience and, in a double movement, Dahlgren draws everyday utility objects into the exhibition space while also bringing his art outside the institutional context and, on a daily basis, creates works which he presents on digital and social media.
About Jacob Dahlgren
Jacob Dahlgren (b.1970) lives and works in Stockholm where he was educated at the Royal Institute of Fine Art in 1999. His works are often colourful, involving the audience, and take as their point of departure a playful approach to art and life. His sculptural practice is minimalistic but will often have an interactive or performative element.
Earlier exhibitions include: Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm (2009, 2013, 2019), Museum Ritter, Sammlung Marli Hoppe-Ritter, Waldenbuch (2017); MAGASIN – Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble (2016); KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (2013, 2011, 2010); Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2010, 2013); Gallery 400, University of Illinois, Chicago (2012); Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (2010); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2011); the Daimler Art Collection, Berlin (2010); Forum d’Art Contemporain Luxemburg (2010); Bielefelder Kunstverein (2009); Turner Contemporary, Margate, the UK (2009); the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007); P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center/MoMA, New York (2006); Kunsthalle Budapest (2006); October salon, Belgrade (2006); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2006).
CHRISTIAN LEMMERZ & LARS TOP-GALIA
The exhibition Eyescape is a monumental collaborative improvisation – a joint creation by
the artist Christian Lemmerz and the guitarist Lars Top-Galia from the rock band Sort Sol.
The exhibition has been conceived specifically for the new Hall 5 and is being created over a period of six evenings, allowing CC’s guests to attend the live creative process where painting and music come together in a joint composition. To the sound of Top-Galia’s improvised guitar solos Lemmerz creates six 3 x 9m large paintings. Thus each evening’s audio work and painting make up a unique performance in themselves and, as something much out of the ordinary, the audience is offered a rare glimpse into the private and personal process that the creation of an artwork can be.
After the six evening performances the exhibition will achieve its finished expression, but showing all the fresh traces of the raw nature of the process. In the 1,000 m2 big exhibition hall visitors will be able to experience Lemmerz’s paintings as monumental friezes while the loudspeakers in the middle of the room will be playing Top-Galia’s guitar solos. Eyescape will be a wordless manifestation of art as created through collaborative improvisation - a performative process frozen on the canvases and echoed in the playing of the musical improvisations.
Offering the public a glimpse into the artist’s process allows Lemmerz to play with associations such as voyeurism, exhibitionism and artist stereotypes. The aim, however, is to demonstrate the improvised creative process in which painting and music emerge as a joint composition, nurturing and challenging each other at the same time.
This exhibition is supported by Statens Kunstfond and has been realised in collaboration with artFREQ.
About Christian Lemmerz
Christian Lemmerz (b.1959) was born in Germany but now lives and works in Italy and Denmark. He began to draw at the Catholic boarding school which he attended as a boy and young man, and art became his escape from the strict religious atmosphere of the school. After having received training as a classical sculptor at the art academy in Carrara in Italy 1978-82, he was enrolled at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts from 1982-1986.
Lemmerz expresses himself in various media: film, performance, sculpture, drawing, painting and installation works. He has explored unconventional materials as in his early margarine sculptures and slaughtered pigs displayed in glass cases at Esbjerg Kunstmuseum. Taking his starting-point in current social issues the artist expresses himself in traditional materials like bronze and marble in his sculptural work which is often based on the Renaissance and classical idiom. He sees himself first and foremost as a draughtsman, which becomes evident when he lets go on the canvas in front of CC’s audience. In a continuous study of the great existential subjects such as identity, love, suffering and death, his works also contain a number of Christian symbols including the crown of thorns and the naked Christ, and they often reference tabooed subjects as well as both present and historical events. Lemmerz was awarded a lifelong grant from the Danish Arts Foundation in 2010 and also received two important awards, namely Thorvaldsen Medaillen in 2009 and Eckersberg Medaillen in 1998. Major exhibitions include Limelight, Charlottenborg, 1986; Scene, Esbjerg Kunstmuseum, 1994; The White of the Eye, Kunstforeningen GL STRAND, 2001, and Genfærd, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, 2010. His latest creations are several monumental works in marble and bronze, including the 3.5m high bronze sculpture Lazarus, donated to Bispebjerg Hospital by the New Carlsberg Foundation. Since 2017 Lemmerz has worked with virtual reality and created the works La Apparizioneand TRAUM that have afterwards been shown in Italy, China, Germany and Denmark.
About Lars Top-Galia
For 35 years Lars Top-Galia (b.1964) has worked chiefly as a composer and guitarist in the band Sort Sol. In this capacity he has made about 10 albums, toured large parts of the world as well as received a series of prizes and distinctions including 10 DMA Awards, most notably the lifetime artistic achievement award in 2017. Top-Galia has composed a number of the band’s most well-known classics like ’Let Your Fingers Do the Walking’, but also many far darker compositions such as the whole of Sort Sol’s latest highly critically acclaimed album Stor langsom stjerne from 2017. His career (both as a solo artist and with band) furthermore includes a number of artistic collaborations with celebrities in film, dance, art, radio, TV and music: Jóhann Jóhannsson, Ole Bornedal, Link Wray, Stephen O’Malley, Martin Hall, Linda Wendel, Kirsten Thorup, Patti Smith, Michael Kvium, Christian Lemmerz, Martin Bigum, Peter Schaufuss and the Royal Danish Ballet.
In addition to his musical efforts, Top -Galia works as an artistic director and concert manager at artFREQ., an organisation that creates art musical events. artFREQ chiefly organises concerts with highly respected cult musicians such as Nick Cave, Throbbing Gristle, Suicide and Diamanda Gálas in special Copenhagen venues.
artFREQ. has been invited by Copenhagen Contemporary and Christian Lemmerz as a collaborator on the presentation of Eyescape.
Autor: Ida Maj Ludvigsen / CC; zusammengestellt von Gert Holle, 25.07.2019
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