Critics’ Picks

Rose Eken, Tableau, 2015, glazed paper clay, dimensions variable.

Rose Eken, Tableau, 2015, glazed paper clay, dimensions variable.


Rose Eken

V1 Gallery
Flæsketorvet 69 - 71
August 15–September 19, 2015

A fictive artist’s studio based on photos of actual artists’ work spaces—from Jonathan Meese and Richard Colman to local artists such as Maiken Bent and Alexander Tovborg—is the frame for this new exhibition by Danish artist Rose Eken. All the objects presented are handmade ceramic, together visually overwhelming due to their number. They range from traditional artists’ equipment, such as brushes, cans, a ladder, a sink, and clothes spattered with paint strokes, to a stack of Playboy magazines.

All pieces are, impressively, made at a one-to-one scale. Everything seems familiar at first glance, yet all are a bit distorted in form and size due to shrinkage from the clay when it is fired, creating a cartoonish, skewed feeling about the whole installation. The artist uses the ready-made as a starting point, but when it is transformed, the everyday object becomes a charged narrative prop. A centerpiece is a big white table, Tableau, 2015, where more than four hundred ceramics are placed around a computer screen that has Google search ready to go. Similar to an earlier work by Fischli & Weiss composed of a big table with working tools, Untitled (Tate), 2000, Eken has also placed hers at the heart of her exhibition.

The attraction of Eken’s work reaches further than the initial amazement at her patient production. A process such as hers articulates a subtle critique of a hasty world mainly experienced through screens. Here, the world doesn’t quite look like itself, yet it is as concrete and sensory as reality all the same.