Notes (17.08.01) On the front cover of 'Dansk Sociologi' Magazine - Published through the Danish Sociologic Society.
2013 - 2017
Untitled (Folders) 2018. Charcoal on paper. 140 x 232 cm
Exhibition view. Bozar - Centre of Fine Arts Brussels.
Untitled (Olhos_1) 2018. Exhibition view . Bozar - Centre of Fine Arts, Brussels.
Untitled (Olhos_1) Detail. 2018. Charcoal and pigment on cotton paper. 36 x 55 cm
Memory Foam 2018. Exhibition view with Simon Rasmussen & Claus Carstensen. Code Art Fair 2018.
Untitled (Track & Trace II) 2017. Charcoal and graphite on paper. 114 x 146 cm.
How To Move Forward? Solo exhibition at Galleri Tom Christoffersen 2018. GIF design by Andreas Albrectsen
How To Move Forward? Exhibition overview .
Big Brother Brazil, Hurricane Irma, the Truman Show, and DIY slime: the motifs of Andreas Albrectsen’s meticulous works in carbon, pencil, and pigment powder range widely. Albrectsen found the inspiration for his works in Google’s image search tool based on the company’s own Year in Search 2017: statistics on the issues, people, films, etc. most frequently searched for. In other words, a kind of statistical evidence of the themes most often entered in the search field of the Internet giant. In all their almost tragicomic diversity, Albrectsen’s works directly address our times: how we consume and search, are worried and entertained – as individuals and as humankind.
’Privacy is political’ people used to say. ’Privacy is marketing’ they probably say at Google. But in Albrectsen’s work, something else is afoot: the mass searches are brought back to the intimate sphere created by the drawings and where questions such as ‘How to move forward?’ perhaps first emerged. In the remediation of the image flows from the news media and the entertainment industry to the authenticity and originality of the drawing, there is a short break from the acceleration of time, searches, money, entertainment. Here the drawing becomes a tool with which to ’look’ – different from scrolling using your index finger on the mouse or, in the case of the phone, your thumb. And this ’looking’ – and sometimes ’overlooking’, forgetting – is a general theme in Albrectsen’s practice, which often circles around themes such as memory and the relationship between history and the contemporaneous as well as the shift in meaning which images, in proper Kuleshov style, are capable of producing in the mind of the viewer.
The works in How To Move Forward? constitute in many ways yet another layer of the surveillance culture represented by Google. It is a partial mapping of the surveillance itself, a fragmented overview of the most pressing issues in a global context, a kind of glimpse of the subconscious of humankind. For what exactly fascinates humankind? What remains forgotten? In 1930, Sigmund Freud published Das Unbehagen in der Kultur (in English: Civilization and Its Discontents) where he described everything that a well-functioning society is unable to deliver, which, in simple terms, can be boiled down to the happiness of the individual. In other words, if you go along with Freud, there is a disparity between the individual and society. What, then, is the relationship that emerges between the individual and society in Albrectsen’s works? Is it the surveillance of the individual – like the two partly anonymised people in an unmade bed – which ultimately contributes to sustaining a society that only functions when everyone is watching everyone else? Or is it the case that society will not function when individuals are allowed to abandon themselves to the quick fixes provided by search engines?
The question mark in the exhibition title How To Move Forward? is nothing if not significant. For it is in the very question mark that the works come together. The exhibition is not a ’how to’ guide; it is an open question: How? Where? Whence? Albrectsen’s works do not provide the answers; instead it could be argued that they are working within the context of the question mark: they expose the flaws of the oracle replies offered by the search engines and the blurry boundary between crisis and entertainment, reality and fantasy. Perhaps it is precisely in this questioning space, in the opportunity for critical reflection created by Albrectsen’s works that an alternative to the endless searches can be found. It is not an alternative with no questions asked, but an alternative asking different questions.
– Anna Vestergaard Jørgensen ( MA & PhD Fellow at The National Gallery / University of Copenhagen)
Untitled (Track & Trace) 2017. Charcoal and graphite on paper. 114 x 146 cm ( Private Collection)
"Wilfing" ( What Was I Looking For?) is a relatively new term which describes an increasing tendency to browse aimlessly on the internet until one forgets one’s initial purpose. Untitled ( Track & Trace) is based on two separate images - one found online through the Google search tool and the other at a central-European fleamarket. The images are carefully overlayed so that they abrupt one another, yet still seems to merge together naturally. The arm of Christ and the hitchhiker are repeatedly pointing against the reading direction of the picture. The hitchhiker’s thumb symbolizes the idea of moving about blindly. It is also synonymous with the ‘Like’ icon from social media. Historically the “thumbs up” symbol supposedly originates from ancient Rome in the context of gladiatorial combat. Pollice Verso is the Latin phrase meaning ‘with a turned thumb’ which refers to the hand gesture used by Roman crowds to pass judgement upon a defeated gladiator. The underlying image of the crucifixion of Christ in Untitled ( Track & Trace) represents the psychoanalytical notion that behind every unconscious search there exists a preconception - something which is already found.
Untitled (Track & Trace II) 2017. Charcoal, graphite and spray paint on paper. 114 x 146 cm ( Private Collection)
End Of The Line Group show at Den Nordiske Ambassade. Poster design by Andreas Albrectsen
Within the field of mathematics, a straight line is described as a "length without width". It is one-dimensional and defines the shortest path between two points. The “line" in terms of illegal stimulants, is a shortcut to a brief and intensified state of mind. It is a length without width, which in this context also contains a peak and a low. Untitled (Track & Trace II), is based on a cropped stock image from the 1980´s, found on the Internet. The motif depicts the hand of a young female consuming a white porous substance in the form of a line. The figurative part of the drawing is placed at the bottom of the paper. When installed, the drawn figuration is situated close to the floor, in the height of the viewer’s knee. The motif is drawn twice, side by side, thereby forming a short narrative sequence - a beginning and an end. The order in this sequence, however, seems illogical as the white line appears on the right side and thus goes against the reading direction. When paying attention to the dominant and seemingly empty surface in the work, traces of hidden images appears under a thick layer of white spray paint. The material combination of charcoal and spray paint seems to oppose one another. One organic and slow, the other industrial and rapid, each of them representing their own individual pace of time.
Meditations Over (Art)Work) Artist talk between Eva Koch (DK) and Andreas Albrectsen, meter Exhibition Space. September 16, 2017.
Meditations over (art)work is an attempt to create an environment in which we make time for immersion into detailed dialogues and analysis of artworks exhibited in the group exhibition. Each meditation is unique and developed specifically for the artists involved or the work on show. They are two hours long and we ask participants to stay to the end. By taking time to look at an artwork from different angles and introducing methods that are not normally perceived as analytic tools within the arts we hope to create other conversations about art. We want to challenge our relationship to art and move beyond a point of logic.
In the first meditation over (art)work we have invited artists Eva Koch & Andreas Albrectsen to join us to talk about the artworks exhibited at I meter I and their artistic practice. We have invited the two of them to a joint conversation because we see similar inspirations driving their artistic practises but their treatment of the subject to be different both in method and in artistic output.
Notes (17.08.01) 2017. Inkjet print on post-it notes I 263 x 380 cm
The work is based on a snapshot I took from the top of the World Trade Center in New York, August 17th 2001 - a little less than a month before the two towers were destroyed. The dimensions of the snapshot has been enlarged so that it matches the height of the WTC window, where the photograph was originally taken. It has subsequently been manually printed in RGB colour across 1.750 individual canary yellow post-it notes on an ordinary A-4 ink-jet printer and mounted directly onto the wall of the exhibition space. Over the course of two months where the work was shown, the notes slowly lost their grip and fell to the floor, gradually changing the work from day to day. What would have just been a badly framed amateur photo suddenly becomes loaded with meaning and memory of a specific historic event that the image actually does not portray. An event that had not yet taken place when the photo was taken but now in retrospective has attached itself to it.
I Would Prefer Not To is an exhibition in which we try to take back time from an economic understanding of the phenomenon. Time has become a scarce commodity. There is never enough of it, it seems. This is why time is precious; why it is something we try to save.
In todays Western societies our method for saving time is efficiency and the attempt of getting the most out of our day. If you have the means you can even buy yourself more time.
The consequences of our understanding of time permeate through all aspects of human life. At the work place, economic discourses of growth and acceleration guides efforts to optimize our work efforts. Our free time is packed with experiences; offers of entertainment, information and activities at our fingertips. Even sleep is no longer just a state of rest but a means to secure continued and increased performance. When are we ever actually off and notcontrolled by time?
Throughout the exhibition period we will ask what can emerge from preferring not to and doing nothing, from boredom and laziness, from the meaningless and non-functional. We promise to slow down, stretch and waste time. We will procrastinate, hesitate and dilly-dally.
The exhibition not only borrows its title from Herman Melville’s short story Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street from 1853 but is also inspired by the passive resistance that is inherent in the statement. I would prefer not to is a sentence uttered by the story’s main character Bartleby in response tohis boss’ repeated requests; a polite refusal to do his job that grows into a rejection of any form of production or even consumption. Bartleby has since become an example for exerting free will and protesting structural and societal demands of self-discipline disregarding ones own needs. By rejecting demands that are so reasonably expected of him to follow, his behaviour escapes the logic of modern society.
We turn to art and artists as our companions in this conversation because art is both praised and criticized for being without use value. Again and again the same debate arises about whether or not the arts are worth taxpayers money. It seems to be a phenomenon that escapes logic and evades conventional measures of value. It is both essential to a society and unnecessary. It can be sold at astronomical prizes and escape economic circulation. Art is paradoxical – a cliché, no doubt – but still a valid observation. It has the potential of being a waste of time, of money or some other form of excess. For this exhibition we have invited a group of artists not because they necessarily escape economic circulation, but because there are elements within their practice, their work process or the art itself escapes and challenges an economic sense of time. - Press text by meter Exhibition Space .
Paramnesia. Galleri Tom Christoffersen I October 2015.
On the wall: Calibergraphy, 2015. The work consists of 27 frottage drawings made with raw graphite on chalk paper. The frottage works are physical transfers of found bullet holes dating back to the Sovjet invasion of Germay and Poland in 1945, embedded in various monuments, facades and gravestones throughout Berlin and Wroclaw.
On the Floor: Writers Block (Spray Paint Palimpsests, Berlin 1989-2015) consists of collected fragments of spraypaint, wall paint and dirt that has covered the remains of the Berlin Wall in Mauer Park between 1989 - 2015. The multiple layers of paint which have accumulated on top of the wall since the reunion of Germany has hardened into sediments.The Collected strata symbolize a materialized oblivion formed by later generations. Paradoxically, the hardened over-paintings constitutes a wall on its own -exposing and covering a traumatic remnant of history at the same time.
(...) All of this may be understood in terms of Nachträgligkeit, a psychoanalytical concept for describing how we deal with and alter the memory of an experience in order to bear it. In this context there is yet another term that applies to Albrectsen’s project, the screen memory. This is a phenomenon that occurs in connection with traumatic events, causing us to remember only harmless details such as the pattern of a tablecloth or a slightly drooping curtain. Full text by Gertrud Sandqvis here.
Untitled (White Lie) 2015. Charcoal and graphite on Paper. 114 x 146 cm. (Private Collection)
The broken frieze which constitutes the subject in Untitled (White Lie) is borrowed from Classical Greek Mythology – a fighting scene, symbolizing the struggle between reason and unreason. The motif has been processed by disassembling and piecing the image together in a randomn order.The ressurected motif has then been composed and meticulously reproduced with charcoal and pencil.
The Hot Show Galleri Nicolai Wallner, January 2015. Poster design: David Shrigley
Bliss (2014): Graphite pencil drawing based on found google images, depicting two geographically unrelated rainbows.
Projections ( 2014): Graphite pencil drawing based on an associative arrangement of found google images.
Dark Matter. Galleri Tom Christoffersen I September 2014 I A groupshow feat. Richard Forster (UK) Rasmus Rosengaard (DK) Jenny Åkerlund (SE) and Andreas Albrectsen I Curated by Andreas Albrectsen.
Dark Matter presents four artists interpretation of the potential and complexity on the medium of drawing. According to Jacques Derrida all drawing is essentially blind. The draughtsman is blind as he/she inevitably looks at the subject being represented (and in that sense cannot see what is being drawn on the paper) or, the draughtsman’s focus is turned towards the representation (and thereby cut off from the reality he/she is drawing from). This blind spot between the eye and the hand is compensated for by memory in the translation process. It is in this crossover between the observed, remembered and the imagined that the four artists meet in this exhibition.
Edstranska Foundation Prize 2013. Exhibition catalogue . Graphic design: All The Way To Paris
Copy Paste Copy Past. KHM Gallery, Malmö I June 2013.
MFA graduation show, Malmö Art academy.