4017 Walnut Street
October 18 - November 27
Norwegian artist Knut Åsdam, currently the Mellon artist-in-residence at the University of Pennsylvania, has created for his latest exhibition, titled “Edgelands,” a cinematic video, Egress, 2013, and two site-specific sculptures, each studies of architectural non-sites. The action in Åsdam’s video takes place entirely in stranded spaces—the sliver of green between two lanes of a highway, the dank area under an overpass, a rest-stop gas station. A twenty-first-century Slackers, the film follows protagonists who are employees of this Norwegian gas station and convenience store.
Åsdam’s wall-size chain-link sculptural interjections in the gallery break the white box into a number of oblique stranded spaces through which one views the video. A sculpture on the University of Pennsylvania’s McHarg Plaza, DS (2), 2013, consists of four interlocking chain-link planes. Architectural in scale, the enormous sheets of fencing were unraveled and woven together again by hand—a willful collision of the industrial and artisanal, extending the haptic into the prefab. “Edgelands” suggests the potential in peripheral, atomized sites for intimate and tactile forms of resistance to global capitalism.