2013 - 2019
Untitled (Folders II) 2019, Charcoal on cotton paper. 140 X 232 cm. Included in the exhibition Escape Shift Return.
Escape-Shift-Return is a keyboard shortcut that has no real function. Its literal meaning suggests a cycle of endless continuity instead. The labour intensive and somewhat Sisyphus act of repeating an image through drawing resonates with the title of Andreas Albrectsen's new exhibition at Charlotte Fogh Gallery. The exhibition consists of two large scale charcoal drawings made from composed screenshots, depicting a pre-installed mountain motif on the artist's computer. In the foreground folder icons and Word documents floats together with images resembling scientific tables. These tables refer historically to nostalgia as a medical term. In the 17th century, Swiss doctors saw nostalgia as a curable disease similar to the common cold. It was thought possible to treat nostalgic symptoms with opium, leeches and a trip to the Swiss Alps.
The screensaver mountain range in Albrectsen's drawings is collectively recognisable. It is a 2-dimensional plane from where work is done, or life is lived digitally. The mountain as a cultural icon represents the unattainable and sublime but also symbolises a challenge that needs to be overcome or climbed psychologically. To depict a mountain in its entirety one needs to reduce it with distance. Likewise, a computer screenshot is a meta-image that presents a concise whole of an otherwise sophisticated graphical user interface.
As naturalistic depictions of "desktop" arrangements, the two charcoal drawings connects to the tradition of classic Still Life compositions. In Albrectsen's work, the commercialised mountain landscape constitutes the static surface, whereas the sporadically placed folders on the computer screen and scientific plates become vanitas symbols of memorial impermanence.
Notes (17.08.01) On the front cover of 'Dansk Sociologi' Magazine - Published through the Danish Sociologic Society.
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. Poster Design: Wrong Studio.
Untitled (Track & Trace II) 2017. Charcoal, graphite ans spray paint on paper. 114 x 146 cm.
Cast Away. Galleri Tom Christoffersen, 2018. Group exhibition with Simon Rasmussen, Mia Line,
Jean Marc Routhier, Lydia Hauge Sølvberg, Jóhan Martin Christiansen - Curated by Andreas Albrectsen.
The finicky and time-fixated FedEx employee, Chuck Noland, managed to reach the shore of a deserted island following a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean. Here he spends four years of his life having to improvise a modern remake of the life of Robinson Crusoe. By collecting flotsam and developing an intense friendship with Wilson, the volleyball, he manages to make it back to civilisation. Chuck ’No Land’ has officially been resurrected as a human being, but society has long since filled out the void he left behind. Chuck goes from a life as a survivor to one of a living dead – a transparent voyeur in the world. That is the plot in a feature film from 2000 whose title is shared by the exhibition in the second gallery space. The Harvard professor Svetlana Boym describes in The Future of Nostalgia how Hollywood often reverts to the story of aboriginal people in nature – in tandem with the emergence of computer-generated images. Since the release of Jurassic Park (1993) up to, and including, Avatar (2015), a post-apocalyptic pattern within technology and nostalgia has emerged in the American film industry. With the spread of 3D printing, relief presentation has undergone a democratisation process. In theory, anything can be designed from home and given a manipulated spatiality. A tool with which to materialise not only our basic needs but also our longings. In the exhibition ‘Cast Away’, the five artists’ work form a fragmented anatomy. The material DNA of the works is industrial, digital, and organic. The artists have used steel, concrete, plaster, clay, paper, chewing gum, and cyberspace, respectively. A common feature shared by the works is a bodily memory that is visible or implied. Moreover, all contributions to the exhibition are based on existing models or ‘ready-mades’ – e.g. drawings, photos, or found objects.
- Full text by Andreas Albrectsen found here
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.
Notes (17.08.01) 2017. Inkjet print on post-it notes I 263 x 380 cm
The work is based on an analogue photo I took as a young tourist 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 photograph has been enlarged so that it matches the height of the WTC window, where it was originally taken. The image 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 occupying the floor space while changing the apperance of the picture plane 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. (...) 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".- Excerpt from press text by meter Exhibition Space.
Artspace.com Article by Amelia Ames. February 28, 2017. ( Cover photo Courtesy: Mai -Britt Boa)
"In the spirit of Conceptualist de-skilling of artistic production, Albrectsen re-draws black-and-white photographs found via internet image search, rendering them in a hyper realistic manner on paper—just as Richter once did with his "photo-paintings." However unlike the latter two artists' de-subjective approach, Albrectsen’s insistence on the personal nature of his archived photographs asks new questions about memory, appropriation, and subjective interpretation of the past through representation" - Full article here
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 occupation 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.
Calibergraphy. Graphite frottages of found WWII Bullet holes. Installation view from the group exhibition 'Great Gifts of Chance'
shown at Galleri Tom Christoffersen, 2015. In the front 'Pendulum Music' installation by Steve Reich.
Paletten. Tidsskrift för Konst no. 2, 2015.
'Art and psychoanalysis, The Rat, The Mother and The Unconscious' - essay by Gertrud Sandqvist.
Works included: Untitled ( White Lie) & Projections
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. on paper.
The Hot Show Galleri Nicolai Wallner, January 2015. Poster design: David Shrigley
"Galleri Nicolai Wallner is pleased to present the latest group exhibition, The Hot Show. Featuring 23 artists and more than 40 works, the exhibition is composed of artists who attended the Malmö Art Academy. This chosen convergence speaks to an interest in the position the Malmö Art Academy as it has developed over the last two decades. Since 1995, the school has eschewed a discipline or technique based practice, disposing of such divisions, focusing instead on the fundamental relevancy of ideas and concepts as they pertain to artistic development. (...) The participating artists in this group exhibition however, are not graduates from a singular year, but rather are graduates from the past several years. Their inclusion was guided and inspired by the artist Joachim Koester—who has not only been long-represented by Galleri Nicolai Wallner, but who is also a professor at the Academy. The exhibition is curated by Marie Gellert Jensen and Rasmus Stenbakken. What The Hot Show attempts to explore, and what the driving, penultimate question becomes, is what happens to the continued work of a group of students who have studied under the development of these changes and institutional practices. Much like the structure of the Academy, The Hot Show does not focus on a singular discipline, but rather on the direction that each artist has taken up of his or her own accord. The result is a charged atmosphere, the roots of which become apparent as each of the over 40 works hold their own in and amongst themselves, an indication of the coming together of a specific yet dynamic mindset." - Excerpt from Press release by Galleri Nicolai Wallner
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.
Species of Space. Skissernas Museum, 2013. Curated by Patrick Amsellem.
The End (1-5). 2013: Graphite, colored pencil on paper. 36 x 55 cm. ( Private Collection)
This series is based on a selection of end titles borrowed from classic motion pictures. In their totality, the repetition of the same setting ( the closing scene), yet with different protagonists suggests a continuation or a new narrative on its own. The transformation from motion picture > image still > drawing constitutes an interval of reel time in itself. The idea behind this series came from a fascination of Christian eschatology - the belief that world events will eventually lead towards a final culmination of good versus evil. "The End is Near" is a common, intertextual and often humorous catchphrase used within cinema and mainstream media. The fanatic holding the warning sign has literally become a cartoon character - an object of ridicule because the apocalypse in the biblical sense never arrives…Meanwhile we go about our lives in a world where climate changes are real, presidential elections are real, cyberwarfare is real but news are fake.
Edstranska Foundation Prize 2013. Exhibition catalogue . Graphic design: All The Way To Paris
Copy Paste Copy Past. MFA Thesis, 2013. Published through Malmö Art Academy. Graphic design: All The Way To Paris
Copy Paste Copy Past. Graduation show, Malmö Art Academy. KHM Gallery I June 2013.
For his graduation show, Albrectsen presents a careful anthology of new and recent works. Alongside his small and meticulous graphite drawings, a new body of poster-sized frottages will inhibit the gallery. Fragments of his studio walls have been manually traced with colored pencils onto thin membranes of Japanese paper. This has been done repeatedly, layer on top of layer, while simultaneously moving the paper sheets slighty from left to right, until a stereoscopic image has been achieved. The frottage drawings are hermetically glued onto the gallery walls, and thus, becoming an integral part of the exhibition space. For Albrectsen, the multi-layered frottage drawings relates back to a history of labor in the studio. He has found inspiration in Bergson's theories on time; how the human ability to self reflect, "to see oneself seeing" is the result of the fundamental doubling of time - perception on one side and memory on the other.
"Andreas Albrectsen is developing a sophisticated artistic practice that works with his talent for drawing in a conceptually rigorous way. His use of reproduction, image and skill are thoughtfully combined to bring a critical perception to bear on the ways in which images carry information." - Lisa Le Feuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies, Henry Moore Institute Leeds . ( External censor, MFA programme 2013).