Gargoyle at Kunstscenen

Artists: Aia Sofia Turan, Claus Hugo Nielsen, Rikard Thambert & Jens Hüls Funder, Nanna Abell

Exhibition title: Gargoyle

Venue: Kunstscenen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Date: September 15 – October 5, 2018

Photography: Kåre Frang / all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Kunstscenen

Gargoyles are public sculptures in stone. We are familiar with them from the facades of medieval cathedrals where they are placed high above the ground representing fantastical or grotesque creatures. Balancing on the edge between sculpture and architecture, they often have a practical function as gutters to lead rainwater away from the building. Symbolically gargoyles were meant to ward off and protect against evil spirits by possibly being even more frightening than their imaginary adversaries. The name comes from the French word for throat and is mimetically related to the gurgling sound of water they emit in rainy weather when water flows through their open mouths.

Gargoyles appear as hybrids between humans and animals, horror and comedy, form and formless. They are carved by anonymous artists as collective expressions of fantasies or nightmares, but the best of them typically have individual characteristics pointing to highly personal interpretations of a shared form. They seem to make physical what is invisible to the official culture, similar to the fanciful drawings in the margins of medieval manuscripts. Gargoyles are peripheral entities originating from the popular culture throughout time, its obsessions and contradictions. They give form to that which we are not in control of or can’t understand. 

Kunstscenen is a new outdoor exhibition space by Magnus Thorø Clausen and Kåre Frang, located on an overgrown lot behind Bispebjerg Station in Copenhagen. It is built of a cast concrete floor and two walls making up a corner, yet does not have neither roof nor electric lighting. The exhibitions in Kunstscenen are therefore directly exposed to wind and weather, as well as natural light and shadows. The space brings to mind a section of a well-known gallery space or art fair booth yet here out of place and context. Over the next couple of months, we will launch transient exhibitions that will change in sync with the surroundings and maybe gradually disappear in nature. We are looking for ways of naturalizing the art context, to create a new space somewhere between art space, public space and nature, where the boundary to everyday life is less absolute.

Kunstscenen is a new outdoor exhibition space by Magnus Thorø Clausen and Kåre Frang, located on an overgrown lot behind Bispebjerg Station. It is built of a cast concrete floor and two walls making up a corner, yet does not have neither roof nor electric lighting. The exhibitions in Kunstscenen are therefore directly exposed to wind and weather, as well as natural light and shadows. The space brings to mind a section of a well-known gallery space or art fair booth yet here out of place and context. Over the next couple of months, we will launch transient exhibitions that will change in sync with the surroundings and maybe gradually disappear in nature. We are looking for ways of naturalizing the art context, to create a new space somewhere between art space, public space and nature, where the boundary to everyday life is less absolute.

Gargoyle, 2018, exhibition view, Kunstscenen, Copenhagen

Gargoyle, 2018, exhibition view, Kunstscenen, Copenhagen

Aia Sofia Turan, Untitled, 2016, Jesmonite

Aia Sofia Turan, Untitled, 2016, Jesmonite

Aia Sofia Turan, Untitled, 2016, Jesmonite

Rikard Thambert & Jens Hüls Funder, Bispebjerg, 2018, Plaster, LEGO

Rikard Thambert & Jens Hüls Funder, Bispebjerg, 2018, Plaster, LEGO

Rikard Thambert & Jens Hüls Funder, Bispebjerg, 2018, Plaster, LEGO

Gargoyle, 2018, exhibition view, Kunstscenen, Copenhagen

Claus Hugo Nielsen, Untitled, 2013-2018, Oil painted plaster, wood, PU foam

Claus Hugo Nielsen, Untitled, 2013-2018, Oil painted plaster, wood, PU foam

Claus Hugo Nielsen, Untitled, 2013-2018, Oil painted plaster, wood, PU foam

Gargoyle, 2018, exhibition view, Kunstscenen, Copenhagen

Aia Sofia Turan, Everyone should have a butterfly by their bed, 2018, Epoxy, oil pastels, pigment, pen ink

Nanna Abell, Gurgle/lush prism, 2018, Plastic cover, perforated Coca-Cola can

Aia Sofia Turan, Untitled, 2016, Jesmonite

Gargoyle, 2018, exhibition view, Kunstscenen, Copenhagen

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