Critics’ Picks

FOS, Forget Memory, 2015, mixed media, 51 x 43 x 57".

Copenhagen

FOS

Kunsthal Charlottenborg
Kongens Nytorv 1
March 20–May 17

“Your Success Is Your Amnesia” beams from an illuminated neon sign titled Tzatziki, 2013, outside the entrance of the venue for this exhibition, the largest ever of Danish artist FOS’s work. Memory and collective amnesia both play an important role in this show, which examines several dimensions of the artist’s repertoire, including social activities, poetry, and sculpture, accompanied by new site-specific works. FOS uses language as a philosophical, but also deeply political, element in his work, like with the large neon sign outside or in little poems and a mini light broadcasting the message “Forget Memory.”

One of the major works in the show, Preppers, 2015, is a round tunnel built in the first and largest gallery of the exhibition that ends in a brick wall with a door. As the title suggests, this work is a shelter for those preparing for disaster. In another room the work Language Moves into Shapes, 2015, is made of massive concrete pillars that are broken down and spread around the floor. This piece would seem to point to a more recent catastrophe. But as the exhibition also includes a quiet, carpeted room with dark blue walls where many of the artist’s sarcastic yet beautiful sculptures are on display, such as a sculpture of a giant fist made the year of the global economic crisis, Financial Erotic Act, 2008, the intimacy and feeling of security in a museum is sustained. This oscillation between passages of solemn reflection and the invasion of ruin or crisis creates a poetic and political ground for contemplation.