„Takes Two To Tango“
at Galleri Opdahl, Stavanger (Norway)
06.05 – 12.06.2022
Thilo Jenssen’s works incorporate sign structures, pop culture, and physical states of emergency. Existing material is subject to a degree of preparation to the point where a fragile perfection is attained requiring the necessity for protective and supporting brackets. The studied sculptor experiments with thermo-active and other techniques plus a variety of media, yet employs a painterly approach that may result in what could be perceived as an installation. The artist approaches abstract painting with a sculptural flair: countless times he grindes over the applied surfaces, uncovering induvidual particles or entire layers again – working carefully and structurally, but also allowing himself to be guided by unpredictable patterns that arise at random in the process. Jenssen is also interested in social realities and routines that are inscribed and readable in bodies. The notable series “Smooth Operator” from 2019, shows excerpts from sequences of first aid instructions. How should bodies be positioned or moved? Measures or tutorials exemplify choreographies, script procedures, and thus always indirectly depict hierarchies, strategies of support or subjugation.The pandemic has created a new visibility of the topic in recent months, while enabeling a possibilty to experience it. New forms of interaction, new gestures and movements can be observed. Here, an intervention, a being controlled, becomes very clear. Power structures are also inscribed in help and assistance.
Thilo Jenssen’s new series takes two to tango at Galleri Opdahl elongates the artists eximination of first aid measures, in which the ambvialence of hold/support andcontrol/restriction was thematised. Based on his paintery practice, the artist replaces layers of paint with pictorial motifs from a manual for transport and fixing holds, which are printed on top of each other and then sanded. The physical moment of the painterly practice is repeated in the motifs of body limbs that
through the processing expose further limbs and almost cubistic entanglement arise.
In his series of Blech Paintings (Tin Paintings) coloured metal plates are welded on a steel frame where the intervention is made visible.The focus on fixation contributes to a rythm emerging at the edges of the work and grants something brutal which contrast the shiny surface and juicy colours. The paintings are charged with impulses of the present, distansing themselves from a purely historical attribution to the Finish Fetish movement, which emerged in Southern-California in the 1969’s, perhaps as a reacton of New York Minimalism. Jenssen, like the Californians were, is inspired by influences from Pop Art and, using paints, metals, and de-contextualized objects.