Christian Vind


23. Aug 26. Oct 2014

Dr. Topic, Christian Vind’s first major solo exhibition in Copenhagen, focuses on the artist as archivist, visual archaeologist and imaginative pseudo scientist, who as the collector of the deposits of everyday life and the history of culture, nature and science compiles a framework for new stories and ideas.

In the prologue to his famous book Ficciones, the author Jorge Luis Borges writes that everything allotted to him in life – every book read, every stone found on the beach, every speck of dust under the shelf – is first and foremost a resource that has entered the mental archive that forms the source of his own works.

One of Christian Vind’s recurrent techniques is collage – in the original sense of the word of gluing fragments of different objects together to create new, ambiguous and often schizophrenic assemblages. His work, which includes books, exhibitions in dialogue with historical figures, paintings and works on paper, poses fundamental questions about the habitual ways in which we categorise and systematise the world. There are references to the many attempts of art history to register visual impressions, as well as the collections of curiosities and spectacular private collections of former times, with the kind of inexplicable layers of meaning and causal connections the rationality of present-day science could never subscribe to. Coincidence and the influence of the individual subject on how we archive, sort and organise our knowledge form the basis for Christian Vind’s extensive case history of an exhibition at Overgaden.

Dr. Topic consists of an all-encompassing total installation, staging the lower gallery of Overgaden as a hectic Wunderkammer or hallucinatory archive in which the artist has arranged a plethora of found and fabricated objects, texts and prints, as well as a newly produced film. A bowl with three years of carefully folded calendar pages, Dr. Topic’s letterbox, a Polish medicine cabinet containing dissection instruments and tools for creating fire. All of them are arranged in apparently thematic constellations with what looks like a researcher’s cogency and precision, although any narrative or explanation is only intimated as a guiding principle for the viewer. In this sense the exhibition can be seen as a kind of ‘jamais vu’, the clinical opposite of déjà vu, where the viewer can no longer rely on any routine, passive knowledge of the meaning and use of familiar objects, but is encouraged to free their mind and eyes and see anew on a journey not out of but into this world.

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