While Overgaden’s public activities are temporarily paused due to the corona situation, we are preparing the first major solo exhibitions to re-open in a newly refurbished Overgaden on September 11. Here we reveal the first of the two exhibiting artists – Torben Ribe, who in this Q&A tells us what he makes time go with in his home studio.
What are your current concerns in your artistic practice (themes, materials, processes, ideas?)
I always have a lot of different tracks going on in my artistic production, but for the time being I am extremely concerned with the relationship between fear, control, and abstract painting. The fear of committing mistakes, of loneliness, unemployment, kids running out in the street, and all the dirt that in the broadest sense gets entwined within pseudo hard-edge painterly modes of expression, which reminds one more of a worn-out municipal design than a sharp Frank Stella. Can one use a disability, financial poverty, or even a highly actual pandemic as an accumulator for non-figurative imagery? How big must a blue square be to balance an article about hand hygiene, I mean, compositionally speaking?
Besides that, I am really concerned about how to style a sofa.
How do you prepare for the exhibition at Overgaden? What are your thoughts behind the exhibition?
My exhibition at Overgaden will be a total installation consisting of minor sofa arrangements and a large series of paintings. So, there is a lot of physical work in the studio in means of producing these things mixed with a lot of image and material research as well as meetings with different collaborators. And then there is always the basic and sometimes inspirational procrastinations that take up quite some time: surfing on social media, gardening, walks by the sea, casual gaming on my phone, etc. The thoughts behind the exhibition at Overgaden are in short to create a painterly and a bit cheap outlet-feeling with the above mentioned themes and objects and then see where it leads me.
Which adjustments have you made in the current corona-lockdown?
Besides from not seeing that many people IRL and having our daughter home from the nursery there are not really that many changes for me. My studio is in extension of the house and I can order all necessary materials online so my production is not much affected by the lockdown. Furthermore, I live with my family on the outskirts of a smaller provincial town which means social distancing comes naturally here 🙂 However, mentally I find that this corona situation does leave some traces, since it is fatiguing and troublesome to consider everything and everyone as potential disease carriers and the exaggerated focus on hygiene and danger is probably not that healthy in the long run. But perhaps at least it can give some inspiration for new neurotic works along the way, who knows.
(Scroll down on the images to the right to view the image series from Torben Ribes studio)