Perma Red Player
20 Apr – 26 May 2018
A folded cable lightly touching an ad page from a fashion magazine; a concrete mixer attached to a twisted yellow swim-suit; a latex casting of “Nike adjusting her sandal” combined with a motor helmet… In Nanna Abell’s recent assemblages we are invited into a universe where what is normally held apart is weirdly and often shockingly put together. The mixing of heterogenous stuff leads to contrasts, polarities and sometimes very humorous paradoxes. It also opens for a sudden exchange between the various elements: materially as well as psychologically. Seemingly non-related things are starting to move closer together maybe simply because of an overlap of colour or shape. But the moment this kind of basic association has taken place we also begin to take other aspects into consideration such as how things seem to act out identical gestures or how they inhabit space in similar ways. Because despite appearances none of these things are just randomly brought together. They are each of them specific configurations with their own kind of transforming logic.
All of the assemblages deal with codes of subjectivity. This may have to do with how they are based on the everyday world of products and images that we use to construct (or question) who we are. It also has to do with their referencing of modernist sculpture where objects since minimalism have been used as stand-ins for subjects. There is a strong reference in the works to a kind of fantasy or desire of identity, underscored in the appropriated fashion images of women or in fragments of texts such as “party now apologize later” or “flaneur forever”. This is a kind of communication we are probably all familiar with from commercialized spaces everywhere. But the works use this fantasy language of choices not to fix anything but to transform desire by confronting it physically and bodily with stuff that is absolutely different, such as old cables, smashed up packaging or formless colour pigments. The assemblages are at the same time rough and fragile, elegant and brutal, realist and fantasized. They refer interchangeably to global capitalism, luxury culture and approaching catastrophy. This use of polarities and translations back and forth initiates a fundamental questioning of what surround us and what happens if things are moved beyond themselves.
Magnus Thorø Clausen