Kristian Touborg’s artistic production is best described as an oscillation process consisting of a series of repetitive painterly variations occurring over time, seeking an equilibrium between the digital and the analogue, the fragmented and the whole. In this exhibition, entitled Blood Moon Echoes, Touborg takes his point of departure in a dedication to a particular summer night shrouded in the shimmering light of the blood moon.
As the works are constructed, Touborg refers back in time to the mysticism underlying the traditions of romantic landscape painting, in which the depictions of nature act as charged versions of nationalistic concepts, as well as his choice of methods to convey the atmosphere and essence of this particular blood moon as his central figurative anchor, aim at a futuristic desire to challenge the shortcomings of the canvas’s two-dimensional surface. While Touborg navigates this intermediary gap of artistic frameworks he transforms the paintings into sculptural artifacts of our present time in history.
Stretched between protocols of disenchantment and re-enchantment, Touborg reclaims sovereignty over both the materials used and the two-dimensional space, as he advocates for art to be produced equally by the end of times and the beginning of times. This dance between the analogue and the digital can be found in the fragments, as they stand as non-hierarchal incorporated elements within compositions that at first appear to be excessive and incomparable multitudes of individual materials; however, facing the works the diverting movements within the stretched canvas somehow cause the fragments to enter what might be best described as variations of contradictory symbioses – inclusive inhomogeneous networks.
As the title of the exhibition and presented artworks refer to the echo of the blood moon, the title acts as a temporary placeholder for a multiform array of interwoven reflections of experiences that, through the works, arrive at the visitor with a delay subsequent to the direct impact. In Touborg’s artistic practice the impact is the figuration that is created as a product of a carefully calibrated processing of a vast number of oil paintings, sketches, photographs, prints, found materials and digital rearrangements of western European art historic masterpieces and the echo is the artwork.
Understood as a compilation of visual streams, the artworks mirror the multifaceted present visual landscapes we are exposed to digitally every day. In addition to this Kristian Touborg draws further upon the notion of an economy of presence, described as the paradigm shift from the value tied to the production of objects into immaterial alternatives such as experiences and emotions.
In Touborg’s art works the delayed impact of an excessive bombardment of images and the potentiality of machine learning algorithms reading images acts as points of orientation, however Touborg refuses to deliver solutions to redeem the current state of things nor renounce the painterly tradition he is a product of. Instead Touborg’s work draws further attention to the brushstroke led by the hand, the time invested in the production, and ultimately the inexplicable representation of immaterial emotions and presence interwoven as well as the digital reproduction and synthetic materials. Perhaps the imbedded message in Blood Moon Echoes is precisely that in order for us to learn how to feel at home in the mudded water of a historical time where art and life has been penetrated by technology, Touborg suggest that we must embrace the whole as constituted by the fragments as well as the multitude of voices instead of an overall narrative. The artworks thus become loopholes within an abundance of data for us to explore.
by Cecilie Marie Dalhoff