April 11th, 2010
Artist: Simon Dybbroe Møller
Venue: Harris Lieberman, New York
Exhibition Title: The Demon of Noontide
Date: March 5 – April 3, 2010
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Harris Lieberman Gallery, New York
– Which attacks the monk in the stillness of the midday hour and empties the world of any meaning.
Harris Lieberman is delighted to announce The Demon of Noontide, the first U.S. solo exhibition of Danish artist Simon Dybbroe Møller. In his latest body of work, Møller addresses the fallacy of progress – particularly as it underlies the avant-gardist paradigm of artistic development and the unrelenting pace of technological advancement. The artist’s paintings, performance, and videos signal neither a celebration nor a critique of progress, but rather by foregrounding their conceptual and process-based iterations, introduce a cyclical alternative to this dominant model.
Three films in the back gallery follow the exhibition’s recurring character as he engages in mundane tasks like driving a car, working in the office and retrieving an article of clothing from a dry cleaning carousel. In lieu of diegetic audio, a string quartet accompanies these videos by precisely imitating every sound produced by the featured machinery. While bringing to mind a whole array of films either made in celebration or critique of technological progress, this “symphony of machines” instead merely exhibits sensuality within monotony. With unapologetic neutrality, the short videos give us mechanized, fragmented and emptied time.
A new series of paintings span the walls of the main gallery, comprising inkjet prints of photographs of canvas that Møller has applied, with wallpaper paste, to actual canvases. As the paste and water sap colors from the printouts, Møller’s brushstrokes gradually appear: functional marks that incidentally double as signs of expressive technique. Here the most commonly used machine for image reproduction – the household printer – becomes a chance producer of images of alchemic qualities.
Seated at a piano in the center of this gallery, a live manifestation of Møller’s main character reads from one in a stack of books, while offhandedly playing a seemingly random sequence of notes. These alphabetical notes are actually corollaries of letters in a given book, played in the sequence in which they are read to produce an abstract amplification of the reader’s experience. Here leisure activities undertaken to fill out the void of boredom results in a melody that becomes the soundtrack of “The Demon of Noontide.”
Simon Dybbroe Møller was born in 1976 in Aarhus, Denmark. He studied at Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main and Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Møller has had solo exhibitions at Kunstverein Hannover, Frankfurter Kunsverein, Kunstmuseum Thun, Aarhus Kunstbygning, and Künstlerhaus Bremen. Recent group exhibitions include The World is Yours, Louisiana Museum of Art, Humlebaek; Ars Viva, Museum Arteiberg, Mönchengladbach and Augarten Contemporary, Vienna; and 50 Moons of Saturn, T2 Torino Triennial. He will have his fist U.S. solo museum exhibition at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) later this year.