Critics’ Picks

Kasper Akhøj, Abstracta, 2007–, steel and glass, dimensions variable. Installation view.

Kasper Akhøj, Abstracta, 2007–, steel and glass, dimensions variable. Installation view.

Copenhagen

Kasper Akhøj

Overgaden.
Overgaden Neden Vandet 17
April 24–June 13, 2010

Kasper Akhøj’s ongoing project Abstracta, 2007–, comprises a modular sculpture made of steel and glass that hangs from the ceiling in this exhibition like a free-floating primary structure of Minimalist stock. The work refers to an eponymous elegant display system the artist found during his journey along the so-called Highway of Brotherhood and Unity (a road that unites the various republics in former Yugoslavia). While traveling, the artist discovered this structure in a variety of contexts––from a shoe shop in Skopje to a museum in Ljubljana. Akhøj set about investigating its history and learned that the Danish architect Poul Cadovius originally designed the system in the 1960s as an exhibition display for a world’s fair; that it was subsequently produced in China in the ’70s; and that it was manufactured in Yugoslavia in the ’80s and then widely distributed across Eastern Europe. Recently an American company bought the patent for the system.

Akhøj’s poetic handling of the original Abstracta units in his work underscores his research, which has taken him on a nearly endless journey through different cultures and historical periods. Likewise, the piece conveys a slowness that stands in contrast to an art world that is often short of breath. Indeed, the work points to a particular kind of unhurried resolution, as befits a spatial intervention in the air.