Kristian Kragelund (DK), Elisabeth Molin (DK), Karl Monies (DK) and
Nathan Peter (US)
CCA Andratx is excited to present the group exhibition Le Hasard et la Nécessité which unfolds four different artistic expressions delving into the space between Chance and Necessity. Inspired by the title of the book by the French Nobel-Prize winning biochemist Jacques Monod from 1970, CCA intends to question the relationship between chance encounters, coincidences and opportunities and the necessity to make a choice.
Monod concludes, inspired from the Existentialists, that “man knows at last he is alone in the unfeeling immensity of the universe, out of which he has emerged only by chance. His destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is his duty. The kingdom above or the darkness below; it is for him to choose.”
Karl Monies believes less in chance by working accordingly to the7 Hermetic Principles, one of them being correspondence, “As Above, So Below”, another one being the pendulum movement of Rhythm, and perhaps most interestingly is in this context the principle no. 6: “Cause and Effect”, stating that the chance is merely a term in describing something that is unknown to our planes of existence. Bringing his personal archive consisting in 10 years of gathering bits and pieces from here and there, he has within the past month been assembling these almost “forgotten” images in new/old, intuitive/orchestrated constellations of Principles.
During his residency at CCA Andratx, Monies has besides continued developing two ongoing series of works: his ceramic and polystyreneContainers and his tapestryComforts. The former functioning literally as striking, sculptural containers for anything, any thought, any idea, any purpose or simply pure energy. One may think of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Carrier bag theory explaining how containers have always played an essential, and perhaps, underestimated role throughout the whole history of mankind; the container understood as the body, the dwelling space, the library, the museum, the womb, the matrix.
Comforts consists of a series of meticulously hand-embraided textiles, that besides from their geometrical patterns and particular bleached and dyed color schemes, immediately triggers the haptic and perhaps even synesthetic sense in any visitor, who is able to imagine how comfortable a blanket wrapped around you feels like and how any kind of fabric functions as something protecting; as a separating layer and connecting point between our bodies and the world.
Elisabeth Molin (DK)
The work of Elisabeth Molin deals with slips in perception, time warps and bodily displacements; often materialized as video, photography, installation and performance. Her work looks beyond the seamless ideology of the world we live in and finds multiple jarring contradictions, dislocations, asymmetries and quiet injustices.
Kristian Kragelund (DK)
Kristian Kragelund is a Danish painter and video artist, whose art explores notions of time and change created through reactions of different materials and objects. Born in 1987, Kragelund studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, graduating in 2014.
Nathan Peter (US)
Born in Minneapolis, Nathan Peter studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, before moving to London and now Berlin. Peter pushes the possibilities of his materials. He repeatedly applies paint and corrodes its layers away, creating a unique visual effect whose abrasive process often brings the canvases he is working on to the point of destruction.
Karl Monies (DK)
Karl Monies works both with wall mounted art works and ceramic sculptures. The materials often have a historical background in order to create universal objects. Karl has been studying both in Amsterdam, London and Beijing and has lived in Berlin for several years.
”When I was nine years old, the world, too, was nine years old. At least, there was no difference between us, no opposition, no distance. We just tumbled around from sunrise to sunset, earth and body as alike as two pennies. And there was never a harsh word between us, for the simple reason that there were no words at all between us; we never uttered a word to each other, the world and I.
Our relationship was beyond language—and thus also beyond time. We were one big space (which was, of course, a very small space).
And right at that point in time (where there were no points in time), our school began teaching us about all the world’s points in time.
When I turned ten years old, the world suddenly turned ten million billion years old.”
InCOMFORT 732/00/ Elisabeth Molin addresses entropy – the ‘perfect disorder’ or ‘randomness of an enclosed system’ – resulting from a curiosity of how architecture and urban artifacts affect the human body. Her work intertwines photography and short poetic texts, together creating a prism of approaches to the subject. Whereas the photographs visually refer to moments of intersection, the text describes bodily encounters with synthetic materials, screens and data.
Molin’s works act as a series of chance encounters; the motifs in her images are never staged, but always found and shot as they are. They point at the microscopically small, the day to day transformations and to a between state-ness. As opposed to separating the natural from the artificial, the photographs depict the often surreal and magical encounters between mechanical and organic rhythms in the city.
The titleCOMFORT 732/00/ refers to a note she found on the street one day, which she was intrigued by but couldn’t decipher; it seemed to contain a paradox between a state of mind and a particular time, although the time was out of date, an imagined date almost, caught in between past, present and future.
“If our space, our world, hadn’t acquired time, it had certainly acquired depth. And it had definitely been stirred up.”
The difficulties of grasping things that exist outside “our” time and through “our” language have often lead artists to an in-depth examination of the materiality of things. Attempting to understand the function and meaning of the (sometimes invisible) materials we surround ourselves with, we see in the works of Kristian Kragelund a carefully organized, controlled and rigorous process of layering fiberglass on top of canvas, only to let it react and respond to his gestures underneath, allowing the coincidences to arise.
If we step close to the portrait-sized works, we get a glimpse of the human touch from the artist, who is leaving his mark on the canvas with intuitive strokes however affected by his inherent knowledge of how he’s part of a greater system. The connected diagonal lines bring to mind the schematics of a computational code, like the visual manifestation of an algorithm, perhaps similar to the one that created the pattern of the fiberglass, determined on maximal strength and capacity. The process of layering resembles the tension between nature and technology, from the biologic – the artist himself – imitating the artificial intelligence – the algorithm – to the computer-generated fiberglass, which mimics the flexibility of organic tissue or skin. The meeting of drawing and canvas accidentally reveals a pattern “simulating” nature enhanced by the appearance of the air bubbles in between creating a silk like surface, and fusing man and machine in a process of what the artist thinks of as moral collapse in society.
“The whole surface of the Earth should be covered by sensors placed with half a meter’s space in-between, capable of gathering data that would then be compiled into a huge computer. But almost in the same moment that the computer would start its calculations, there would, in the interstices between the sensors, appear very small deviations that at first would result in very small mis-calculations in the computer, mistakes that nevertheless would spread and grow rapidly and finally become worldwide.”
“The small interstices between our senses, in-between awareness and unawareness, in-between the spaces, in-between the words.”
Suggesting the interstice as an amorph place of becoming, brings us to the fourth artist of the exhibitionLe Hasard et la Nécessité Nathan Peter. With his twofold approach Peter makes use of his art historical knowledge as points of reference, here especially finding inspiration in the Baroque theatrical world of illusions, by working with elements as the fold and the mirror. With these ideas in mind he examines the materiality of painterly resources such as color and canvas. The result becomes what he terms a “negative” painting, an upside down, crumbled up, folded and unfolded sculptural object unraveled and somehow disassembled in his laborious studio performance as a way of distilling physical as well as philosophical information on “painting” into its very essence.
In terms of chance and necessity, Peter says that he likes the possibility of something expanding infinitely – like the fold: “In its movements exists endless opportunities of pulling apart, putting back together, over and over again. Visually, you kind of want to fold it back up, but because of the missing stretcher bars, which would constraint the painting physically, there are these infinite chances of allowing the work to grow outside of the frame in a continuous movement.”
“We just know that there is something we call chance. That there is something we perceive as chance. Still, there can be something about this chance that we do not perceive. Chance could even be fulfilled by an order, that streams on different frequencies than the ones our human senses are able to tune in on.”