Artist: Johan Rosenmunthe
Exhibition title: Hidden in Plain Sight
Venue: Overgaden, Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: January 27 – March 18, 2018
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist, Overgaden and their respective copyright holders
Note: Exhibition plan can be found here
Johan Rosenmunthe’s first major solo exhibition in Copenhagen introduces us to works that speculate on the ways objects absorb information from their surroundings. What, for example, can we learn from a toothbrush, a violin bow, or the arm of a robot?
The Danish artist Johan Rosenmunthe is interested in the interplay of archaeology, time and potential energy. In his solo exhibition at Overgaden, he expresses this fascination in a sensory, material investigation that sheds new light on the familiar, everyday objects that surround us.
What really separates ‘dead’ objects from ‘living’ organisms? The exhibition at Overgaden is based on the hypothesis that everyday objects as well as natural materials store information about their surroundings through sound waves, changing temperatures, and hormones, but that we are not yet capable of measuring and registering this stored knowledge. In the eyes of Johan Rosenmunthe we have the potential to learn from everyday objects, just as he identifies exchange and communication between them and us.
In the exhibition Hidden in Plain Sight the galleries are turned into a speculative – possibly future – archaeological site, providing a framework for a series of new, sensory works using methods from the fields of chemistry and industry to dissect and investigate the matter comprising different objects.
Visitors encounter a landscape consisting of seven tons of limestone extending throughout the space where prints registering and screening a selection of organic as well as inorganic materials are exhibited
In the next gallery the components of everyday objects can be closely examined: here the artist has embedded objects including a bicycle tyre, hand plane and control panel in plastic that has then been sliced.
Central to the exhibition is a series of backlit tanks full of liquid where objects like violin bows, toothbrushes and an industrial robot are submerged. The tank containing the robot is equipped with a tap, so exhibition visitors can drink the fortified water that flows in a continuous circuit over the robot and out of the faucet.
With Hidden in Plain Sight Johan Rosenmunthe offers us an alternative, sensory view of everyday objects at the same time as providing us with the opportunity to consider how we attribute value to certain objects and materials, infusing them with meaning.
The art of Johan Rosenmunthe includes artist books, photography, sculptural installations, and performances, and focuses on themes like potential energy, time and archaeology. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at Tranen Contemporary Art Centre and Kunsthal NORD in Denmark, and DELI Gallery in New York, MELK in Oslo, and Museum De Domijnen in the Netherlands. He studied at Roskilde University and the Danish School of Art Photography Fatamorgana.