Henrik Olesen

December 7 - January 13, 2000

Anton Kern Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of two exhibitions: German artist Marcel Odenbach in the main exhibition space and Danish artist Henrik Olesen in the front gallery on December 7, 2000. Although the artists work in disparate mediums and will present two very different installations both investigate socio-political and sexually charged themes. Both artists will mount exhibitions which are quite appropriate and timely with respect to the current political climate in the US.


Marcel Odenbach is well known for his important contribution to video art and astute observations of banal details overlapped and imbued with politically charged images framed and juxtaposed with borrowed film clips. Odenbach’s aesthetic is further distinguished by his technique, use of slow motion, collage, zoom, hypnotic soundtracks and using his medium to create an intimacy between the viewer and subject.


In Odenbach’s newest work, Herdentrieb (Herd Instinct), he has created a two part video installation. Framed by two images from Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West, this video installation depicts a herd of cows parading into and then exiting a highway tunnel overlapped and collaged with a jungle of pictures, stereotypes, objective portrayals of a burial, a pop concert, a demonstration, Carnival festivities — crowds of people. The cows traveling through the tunnel is a metaphor for the transformation of the individual into a collective, and examination and commentary on the phenomenon of mobs. The menace of violence is implicit in these mass public gatherings but so is a beauty in the euphoria that one feels pushed through a throng. The installation will be accompanied with several drawings, which are based on well known films.


Last year Dan Cameron organized Marcel Odenbach/Video Installations at the New Museum, which was the artist’s first solo museum show in America.


Henrik Olesen uses social and cultural restrictions as the starting point in his installations. Olesen’s work is imbued with critical examinations of contemporary culture articulated through fabricated posters, sculptures and architectural interventions. Each project or task taken on by the artist questions and deconstructs the notion of authenticity in social constructions such as public laws, representation of minorities, globalization, poverty and anti-homosexual legislation. He further subverts these territories and disciplines by employing cheap and fragile materials in his installations and sculptures. Olesen will create a site-specific installation for the exhibition.


This will be Olesen’s first solo show in the United States. He will be included in Bill Arning’s exhibition “Inside Space” at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge Massachusetts, opening in February.

Installation Views