Emil Westman Hertz

alt hvad der var er nu væk, 2014.

(Exhibition text – EN)

Emil Westman Hertz, alt hvad der var er nu væk

22 August – 20 September 2014


Emil Westman Hertz’ recent sculptures are organic, perishable, tactile, amorphic, changeable, both simple and complex. They contain references to nature (flowers, termitaries, hogweeds), the body (heads, fantastic creatures), and architecture (shelters, cities, towers). They are made of wax, plaster, bronze and other sculptural materials combined with mass-produced materials like medicine packaging, plastic bottles, cardboard and styrofoam. The sculptures have a pronounced tension between nature and artifice. They are models of places existing in reality and other places existing only in the imagination. In a more literal sense they constitute places to physically be in, rooms for our own body.


The sculptures are assembled in groups and accumulations, on low shelves, in glass vitrines, along the wall, or directly placed on the floor. This way of ordering things alludes to the kinds of displays usually encountered in museums of natural or cultural history. It emphasizes the relations between the individual objects and their surface qualities, but is also a way of detaching these objects from the contexts they originally came from. This is not only true in regard to the natural materials (real or copied), but also applies to those things that might or might not be appropriated from other, non-western cultures. The works critically reflect the perspectives and categories through which we seek to understand them.


At the exhibition Emil Westman Hertz is also showing new works on paper, watercolours, drawings and photographs. Similar to the sculptures the works on paper are assembled into larger wholes, contrasting different ways of connecting with reality and fiction. Also like the sculptures, the works on paper are simultaneously narrative, formal and temporary, obviously conditioned by the passage of time. Also included in the exhibition is a neon sign spelling the words alt hvad der var er nu væk (all that was is now gone), as well as a stuffed black hen. Our distinctions between inner and outer reality, humans and animals, nature and architecture, are gradually broken down, or at least made a bit less absolute. There is in this a distinct resemblance with shamanism, panpsychism (the theory that all things have a soul), and other kinds of metaphysical thinking.