Kingdom of Dirt, 2013.

(Exhibition text – EN)

Martin Erik Andersen, Kingdom of Dirt
23 August – 12 October 2013


+ Special Guest Stars: Andy Boot (AU), Bjørn Nørgaard, Christine Ödlund (SE), David Tibet (GB), Emil Westman Hertz, Franz West (AT), Fredrik Söderberg (SE), Henrik Olesen, Ib Braase, Jiri Georg Dokoupil (SZ), Judith Hopf (DE), Kristine Kemp, Lars Bent Petersen, Lawrence Weiner (US), Louise Bourgeois (FR), Marie Søndergaard Lolk, Marijke van Warmerdam (NL), Martin Jacob Nielsen, Olav Christopher Jenssen (NO), Pernille With Madsen, Rasmus Rosengaard, René Schmidt, Rolf Nowotny, Rosemarie Trockel (DE), Sarah Lucas (GB), Troels Wörsel, Vinyl Terror & Horror.


Kingdom of Dirt by Martin Erik Andersen is made of three elements: a concrete mosaic floor weighing over 9 ton which is placed on top of the gallery’s existing floor; a group exhibition of works by others artists; and a small sculptural accumulation built of steel, disco laser light, knitting, video, sound, mirrors, and incense.


The concrete floor consists of a total of eight complex twelve-sided ornaments with an underlying circular geometry assembling a pattern which is virtually endless. Iconographically, the mosaic is based on classical Islamic ornamentation within architecture and carpet weaving, and in a more recent European perspective it is related to American minimal art, brutalism, and probably to a lot of other things as well. As the floor is meant to be walked on, it is related not only to vision but also to our bodies’ feet and to the space as atmosphere. Placed beneath the concrete mosaic are carpets of felt used for transport and Bordeaux-coloured needle felt typically used at fairs. As such the floor construction points to the fact that it might well be transported to other places and to its paradoxical status between adaptation and transgression in relation to the gallery’s architecture. In itself the casting of the polychrome mosaic in monochrome concrete creates a kind of ghost version of the original. The floor can be experienced simultaneously as bodily presence and metaphysical geometry, or it is semiotically speaking both icon and index.


The group exhibition within the exhibition, which is curated by Martin Erik Andersen himself, is a small concentrated hanging of paintings, paper works, photo works and objects by Danish and international artists. Among the works are a 3D print by Judith Hopf, a wall text by Lawrence Weiner set in gothic typography, a steel and papier maché sculpture by Franz West, an engraved drawing of the 3 Graces by Louise Bourgeois, a cut-up record by Vinyl Terror & Horror, as well as other works, many of which have been made specifically to this exhibition. The idea behind the inclusion of guests have been to visualize that no art is without preconditions and that the connecting preconditions are not necessarily stylistically linear. The works included in the hanging all contain a high degree of autonomy, of formal and material precision, whether the medium is watercolour, handbags by Louis Vuitton, or garden dirt.


Martin Erik Andersen’s small sculptural accumulation in the back of the gallery points to yet other dimensions through video, sound and drawings with laser light. If the exhibition as a whole is an interlacement of different spaces; an ornamental space, an open square, a fair booth, a studio … then this accumulation of hi and lo-tech materials seems to project the image of a discotheque after closing time; a space between intimacy, desolation, and ecstasy.