Artist: Rasmus Nilausen
Exhibition title: Bluetooth
Venue: Overgaden, Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: September 21 – November 24, 2019
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Overgaden, Copenhagen
For his first solo exhibition at an art institution in Copenhagen, Rasmus Nilausen presents site-specific paintings, linking the analogue painting on canvas and walls with a familiar technology in common use while, at the same time, sending a historical nod to one of our most legendary ancestors.
In his practice, Rasmus Nilausen addresses painting as a separate language, capable of initiating a dialogue between artist and viewer beyond the verbal and written word. Nilausen examines the connectedness emerging between the works in the artistic creational process as well as in the finished exhibition installation. He is especially interested in the interconnection and relation emerging when the audience encounter the symbolic universe of the works and themselves create a meaningful and personal narrative.
On the first floor at Overgaden, Rasmus Nilausen addresses the interrelationship between communication, sym-bols, language, and affiliation. Figuratively speaking and via a kind of short-wave technology, the works will relate to one another. The title Bluetooth has a central and a lead-in significance for the exhibition, coupling analogue painting and the narrative about king Harold Bluetooth with the term ‘bluetooth’, the communicative wireless technology which is used by everybody and part and parcel of everyday life.
Through Nilausen’s examinations of the historical Bluetooth and our present-day bluetooth invention, an odd coincidence took place. An interrelationship between the myth about Bluetooth, who brought together various peoples to form the Kingdom of Denmark in the tenth century, and the mobile phone tech company Ericsson’s invention of the wireless short-wave technology, named after king Harold because of the latter’s talent for persua-ding people to communicate without using weapons. The logo of this technology is even made up of the runic signs for H and B.
This merging of symbolism, meaning, and linguistics with its polysemantic references and realms of understanding is the starting point for a new series of site-specific paintings with a mutual interrelationship and narrative, which extends beyond the canvas to form a fresco-like mural. As a new addition to his practice, Nilausen also works with floor ornaments in the form of mosaics, which convey their own statements. Between the two exhibition galleries, visitors walk through a painted portal shaped like a large-scale typographical symbol – the so-called paragraph mark (¶). A shape that most people know as the hidden symbol marking paragraphs in a text, appearing when we hit the formatting key on our computer keyboards.
With Bluetooth, Rasmus Nilausen uncovers the invisible connections and communicative relationships which, for the most part, go unnoticed but, when examined more closely, are interrelated, illustrating that subtle links and narratives exist in our midst if we care to look for them.
Rasmus Nilausen (b.1980) studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Barcelona, and graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, in 2011. His international exhibitions include the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London, and Chisenhale Gallery, London, as well as La Capella, Antoni Tàpies Foundation and Suñol Foundation, Barcelona. In Denmark, he has had solo shows at the exhibition venues Tranen and Christian Andersen. Most recently, he has stayed at the Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, the Netherlands, and shown at Team (gallery, inc.), New York, and garcía | galería, Madrid. Nilausen lives in Barcelona.