ICON - Christian FalsnaesAug 29 - Oct 6, 2018

About the show

In his immersive performances, Christian Falsnaes creates liminal situations that bring together formal art mediums with the intangible and unexpected dynamics of collective identities. Video works, paintings, installations and spaces become a moment to channel and reflect upon the concepts of expectation and reaction, favouring, with unanticipated outcomes, communicative processes between groups’ and individuals’ behaviours.

The participatory nature of his practice targets the problematics inherent in social structures through highlighting their power dynamics. By directing participants to relinquish their control, the artist creates unique testimonies of moments where the highly codified rituals of our society are targeted. Falsnaes employs directives to underscore the significance of individual will, turning the reaction of his audiences into material for their own self-reflection.

In ICON, the artist further probes collective frictions by breaking the habitual patterns of interaction within the social norms of the art-world. Inspired by the collection of Kunstmuseen Krefeld, replica works of Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Imi Knoebel, Bruce Nauman, Blinky Palermo, Reiner Ruthenbeck and Franz Erhard Walther (the icons of the male-dominated post-war modernism) are disruptively destroyed, rearranged and reinvented by a throng of visitors that are directed by the artist. ICON results in a selection of works that mirroring the sacral image of an exhibition, abruptly claims the status of exhibition itself.

The transience of this performative act ultimately questions the autonomy of art itself by conveying collective emotions, desires and instincts in an equally aesthetic outcome. As the final work gains social and aesthetic momentum, ICON triggers further considerations on the role of the current viewer, who, confronted with the tumultuous and layered journey of creation, finds himself in a state of reflection. The juxtaposition of the video work and of the installation, which are displayed in adjacent spaces in the gallery, echoes the feeling of these displaced dynamics.

About Christian Falsnaes

 (b. 1980, Copenhagen, Denmark) Christian Falsnaes has developed his practice on the interaction between audience and artist, addressing the rituals and dynamics of group behavior. His works revolve around theissues of identity, authority and submission.

Falsnaes’ work has been featured in solo exhibitions throughout the world: Force , Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Germany; Video Artist , Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany; Front,  Yarat Contemporary Art Space of Baku,Azerbaijan; Thousand Faces,  Statens Museum for Kunst, Denmark; Available,  Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany; Justified Beliefs,  Art Basel Statements, Switzerland; Opening, K W Institute of Contemporary Art of Berlin, Germany. Group shows include: Conditions of Political Choreography,  CCA, Tel Aviv; 20 Years,  Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich; Head to Head  Castlefield Gallery of Manchester; Political Populism, Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna; Expanding the Field of Play,  Centre Pompidou, Paris; Vertigo of Reality,  Akademie der Künste, Berlín; Is it Y(ours)?,  Museum Bärengasse, Zurich; Now and Again – Performance for Video, Fotografisk Center of Copenhagen.

He attended Philosophy studies at the University of Copenhagen (2003) and then completed his education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (2011). He lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

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