Artists: Zack Davis, Pedro Wirz, Sam Porritt, Adam Cruces, Ditte Gantriis, Marian Tubbs, Søren Engsted, Mads Lindberg, Thomas Sauter, Andrea Romano, Absalon Kirkeby, Puppies Puppies, Natacha Oliviera, Magnus Pettersen, Rasmus Høj Mygind, Fabio Marco Pirovino, Jacob Dahl Jürgensen, Heine Thorhauge Mathiasen
Exhibition title: Hairy Plotter and the Polygrapher’s Tones
Organised by: Fabio Marco Pirovino and Rasmus Høj Mygind
Venue: Toves, Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: February 20 – March 21, 2015
Photography: Courtesy of the artists and Toves
Probably the silliest show title of the year, no? (So far at least. It’s only February).
Mega blown up felt marker scribbles, roof gutters as frames for paintings, wallpaper with cigarette butts on it?
It truly is a little spoofy this current show at TOVES in Copenhagen.
Spoof is perhaps best known as a movie genre that fucks somehow with an existing production. Think king Leslie Nielsen, or the brilliant Nazi spy-movie spoof Top Secret (1984) by Jim Abrahams and the Zucker’s (in which actor/artist/art collector Val Kilmer was first introduced to the world as a teenage idol turned secret agent).
Hairy, as in ‘abstract’ or ‘weird’. The plotter is the tool (large printer) used to print most of the exhibited works. A hairy plotter sounds like something alive, like a contemporary painter for instance. However a lot of ‘painting’ today is done with the help of machines. Computers and printers, as this show documents in it’s own little way. (yeaah, that Wade Guyton piece didn’t make it into the show though).
A Polygraph is an early ‘copying machine’ from the 1800’s – and is also descriptive of a writer who is particularly diverse in his authorship. It is also another name for a lie detector. A test most artwork nowadays – including the ones in this show – would not (and perhaps shouldn’t) necessarily pass. Tones rhyme with stones and is also difference in color, mood, gradient and variations of meaning.
Spoof and print in contemporary painting. In a way most art today is a kind of spoof, no? So much so, that we don’t notice it. We think this is really true though, for better or worse. Spoof is not really a bad word or a low genre as such when you think about it. Most (if not all) art works are always building on top of or referring to other and previous work. And not rarely, spoofing it’s precursor or role model. The title of this show suggests that this is also the case here, as it is a truly lame (but fitting) pun on the first Harry Potter book/film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stones (in which Harry is first introduced to the wizarding world and learns of his own potential for magic). With 18 artists and a varied expression in the show – a full cast of characters sort to speak – it seems right to align it with a movie ensemble. Artists as wizards, or persons who are able to access the magical creative field is arguably a somewhat dated idea of what an artist is. However it is still an idea held by many people in and out of the industry. (I’ve always seen Hogward’s as the art academy – but that’s a whole other exhibition.)
Hairy Plotter and the Polygrapher’s Tones consists of 12 different wallpaper designs produced for TOVES by selected artists. The artists are – in a sense – spoofing their own artistic practice with these wallpapers.
Designs by: Marian Tubbs (AUS), Absalon Kirkeby (DK), Sam Porritt (UK), Adam Cruces (US), Zack Davis (US), Ditte Gantriis (DK), Søren Engsted (DK), Natacha Oliveira (US/BRA), Pedro Wirz (BRA), Puppies Puppies (US), Andrea Romano (ITA) and Thomas Sauter (SUI). All wallpapers are presented as samples of half a roll each, 45 x 250cm) and are all for sale to fit a given wall of any size (contact TOVES for more details).
And 9 paintings that each in their own way uses printing in painting, by Jacob Dahl Jürgensen (DK), Fabio Marco Pirovino (SUI), Mads Lindberg (DK) and Rasmus Høj Mygind (DK).
In the middle of the space is a (rough and purposely inexact) scale model of TOVES by Heine Thorhauge Mathiasen (DK). Through hundreds of photocopied images the installation reflects and echo’s the exhibition of which it is a central part. In it’s center is a concrete object (in 3 pieces) by concrete master Magnus Pettersen (NO). The sculpture is doubling (or rather tribbling) as a museum-like bench for contemplation and display platform for a wallpaper (50 Shades of Gray by Puppies Puppies).
Spoof is a term perhaps most often used when making fun or ridiculing an existing original source. Inevitably though, we always pay homage to it at the same time. So in the end perhaps it all comes down to our sense of humor.
Fabio Marco Pirovino & Rasmus Høj Mygind
Heine Thorhauge Mathiasen
Rasmus Høj Mygind
Magnus Pettersen / Puppies Puppies
Jacob Dahl Jürgensen
Heine Thorhauge Mathiasen
Fabio Marco Pirovino / Andrea Romano
Rasmus Høj Mygind / Thomas Sauter