17th OF JANUARY - 22nd OF FEBRUARY 2015
Morten Modin / Poul Bækhøj
The first exhibition of the year in Kunsthal NORD is a bold and experimental encounter between the young academic visual artist, Morten Modin, from Copenhagen and visual artist, Poul Bækhøj from Northern Jutland, who is almost forty years Modin’s senior.
The exhibition Generator is a cross-national encounter between two different generations with completely different artistic views, and can thus be seen as a classic opposition between two different sculptural expressions and highly close-knit artistic practices.
However, this is only at first. In a close cooperation Morten Modin (b. 1981) and Poul Bækhøj (b. 1942) challenge traditional dialogue-exhibitions with a location specific exhibition that contains both personal works and a range of completely new joint productions.
Both artists work with materiality – the younger with material experimentation and the older with roots in the modernistic artifice – and through form, surface and the encounter with other materials, they create new senses and unexpected intuitions of the aesthetic capacity of materials.
For almost three weeks in December they have worked together in murerhallen in Construction College Aalborg, where they have moved ‘installationistic’, sculpturally, and with materialistic consciousness directly into each other’s artistic spheres in order to challenge one another’s positions. With and against each other they have created a wide range of larger and smaller plaster sculptures, which have been supplemented with different materials such as polystyrene, sackcloth, clay and pigments throughout the process.
Hence inspired by Chantal Mouffe’s notion of ‘friendly enemies’, the two artists will mentally - and perhaps even physically - step on each other’s toes. They maintain their individual artistic integrity whilst at the same time making space for citing, commenting and visualizing sides of each other’s practice, both form and material wise, and thus leaves the autonomy and wilfulness of the respective artistic pieces to be built up and broken.
In such a friendly and respectful ‘animosity’, the artists’ different piece-practices can perhaps develop into new identities, and perhaps a new symbiotic state will emerge and create reinforcing synergy between the pieces.
In order to support the exhibition as procedural and context-related, Kunsthal NORD has given the artists the possibility to work for at least two weeks in the facilities of the gallery under the construction of Generator. With the underlying basis in the characteristic architecture, they can create place specific pieces and install them in close cooperation with the gallery’s curatorial staff.
Morten Modin most often works with sculptural studies in the expanded field. He insists on reacting quickly and almost performs with his materials and shapes. For Generator he has made a series of 3D scans in many different colours and textures, large spray painted clay formations as well as a range of large and smaller plaster sculptures.
Poul Bækhøj is in his sculptural practice preoccupied by slowness and reflection. His monumental clear-cut sculptures in granite, iron and cortén steel is perfectionist and impressive, but can appear somewhat closed and self-willed. For Generator he challenges himself with new work methods, which will go into a surprising dialogue with Morten Modin’s material-related studies.
See or download the exhibition catalogue here