Subheads – by Magnus Frederik Clausen
JIR SANDEL is pleased to present Subheads, a solo exhibition by Danish artist Magnus Frederik Clausen. For his show Clausen explores the mutual relations between display, information, value and language within the frame of exhibiting art. This point of view derives from the fundamental question that he addresses each time he builds an exhibition: how to choose what to show? Usually, he keeps the answer open until the last moment, but in this show, he has decided to partially circumvent it.
The largest body of work in the show, Still life arrangement, is composed of three pallets where Clausen has placed the contents of his studio (artworks, tools, books, etc.) at the moment of creating the piece. The items have then been wrapped in black polythene stretch film, a material often used in art handling to pack oversized loads. This operation creates a monolith with a double meaning: it contains the artist’s current production without showing it;
and, while doing so, it also becomes a sculpture that originates new value and conveys an autonomous layer of information.
Scattered on the floor are various newspaper spreads that Clausen has collected over the several last years from around the world. Instead of reading them, he has decided to erase parts of the information with rectangular shapes printed from leftover cuts of copper sheets from an etching workshop. Once more the viewer is confronted with a negation that results in a new presence: the regular reading is obstructed in favour of a new vision based on a linguistic code that is superimposed on the original one.
Language is also key to Untitled (painting), two maple leaves decorated with tempera paint by a child. Similar to the newspaper sheets, they are fragile objects that almost lack the third dimension and are in complete opposition to the bulk of the piece placed in the middle of the room. With an aesthetic that stands on the edge between painting, DIY and ready-made, they are a particular kind of object, here shown as an icon of abstract language per se,
devoid of any prior conceptualisation.
Magnus Frederik Clausen has shown in Denmark and internationally, including exhibitions at Arti (Amsterdam), 56th Venice biennale (Venice), Accademia di Romania (Rome) Museum Palazzo Lucarini (Trevi), Overgaden (Copenhagen), Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Copenhagen), 60th Berlin international film festival (Berlin). He lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.