Submission
Frederik Exner

slit it, slit it, shed it, shed it, rip it, rip-it, RIBBET RIBBET


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installation view
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Slit /, 2022, airbrush on resin, variable dimensions
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Slit //, 2022, airbrush on resin, variable dimensions
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Say it out loud: slit it slit it, shed it shed it, rip it rip-it. To the ear, these short assonances become a pointy poem that could be the first lines of a spell as well as the recipe for an apothecary’s preparations whose virtues – medicinal or malicious – remain unclear. Rip it rip-it, RIBBET RIBBET is the sound af a vocal transformation, words become the singing appearance of the frog; a sign that rain is coming?

As an image-sculptor, Frederik Exner draws on mythological and folkloric stories and tales where beliefs shared by pagan cultures are cultivated. Globally the figure of the amphibian appears as a powerful symbol of transformation, fertility and disorder. The frog is thus perceived as a magical and sometimes evil being who’s skin seem to be its source of power. The skin has transforming and healing properties as well as being the object of repulsion and disgust. Exner’s images mix stories withs, myths, facts and imagination and cultivates thus the possibility of doubt. In that sense, he is operating like a storytelling alchemist making hybrid beings, products of the mutations and contradictions that shape us and our stories.

Two stretched toad skins on a wall covered in latex become the canvases for fabulous and ambiguous scenes in which real phenomena and magical rituals coexist and renders other forms of existence possible. Exners thus gives birth to ambivalent but autonome characters; half-human, half-amphibian, disguised or transformed (is there even a difference?), that become the emancipated actors of their own myths by slitting, threading, splitting, rubbing and RIBBET’ing.

Frederik Exner (b. 1991, Denmark) holds a BFA from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and lives and works in Paris.