With the solo exhibition “New Territory” West introduces New York based Danish artist Kasper Sonne to the Netherlands.
The title “New Territory” is taken from Sonne’s burned-painting series Borderline (“New Territory”), where the remnants of a perfect monochrome painting is left in the hands of chance, through an act of destruction by fire. To a certain extent Sonne relies on improvisation as an act of making, which is also transferred to the way we as an audience can view his works. Herein lies the paradox—within which Sonne intends to remain—rather than providing answers or insisting that we choose a certain position, his works attempt to solidify dichotomies such as human vs. mechanical, control vs. chance, and perfection vs. imperfection. Sonne offers us neither the one choice, nor the other, but a third that exists within each work, subsequently he requires a mental and physical position to be taken by us.
Control and chance is also present in Sonne’s “TXC” paintings, where he overlays a monochrome canvas with toxic chemicals, resulting in the destruction of a perfect beginning. Both Borderline (New Territory) and “TXC” present a multiplicity of time within a single work, which is also explicit in the sculptures Untitled (Vulcan), which divides the exhibition space and marks a line between the dichotomies displayed within Sonne’s other works. The sculptural works both obstruct and makes way for the audience to reconsider their path through the exhibition, and how they perform as viewers.
The merging of oppositions gives way to the positions that we take and how we physically and mentally respond to various conditions as individuals. This is evident in many of Sonne’s text and video works, and in particular within his video work Bad Chemistry. In this work, he cuts up words and connects them with the word “bad”. In a flash card manner word associations surface to heighten our awareness to the instantaneous reaction we have with language and experience.
“New Territory” brings together new and older works that are both subtle and penetrating, that demandsattention to the way that we treat language, and the way we see ourselves as individuals.
until 30 August 2014
Bad Chemistry, 2014
Borderline (New Territory) No 57, 2014
Borderline (New Territory) No 56, 2014
Untitled (Vulcan), 2014
TXC 63, 2014
TXC 62, 2014
Kasper Sonne, “New Territory” installation views at West Den Haag, 2014
Courtesy: the artist and West Den Haag, Photo: Jhoeko