Thorbjørn Bechmann & Sofie Thorsen


09. Feb 07. Apr 2013

Delicate photographs that play on metal frames. A rebellious schoolgirl and an abandoned sculpture. There is room for both concrete and fragility when the play sculpture is placed in the spotlight at the duo exhibition IG 383 and The Play Sculptures by Thorbjørn Bechmann and Sofie Thorsen at Overgaden.

In two parallel installations, the paths of the two artists coincide via a shared interest in historical objects – an interest that comes to expression at the exhibition in the shape of an aesthetic phenomenon from the urban spaces of the 1950s: the public play sculpture.

After thorough research and investigation, Thorbjørn Bechmann and Sofie Thorsen examine remnants and documentation from the time when it was believed that art possessed the power to change society.

Sofie Thorsen’s installation takes its starting-point in Vienna, where the play sculpture originated as part of the postwar focus on rebuilding the city: a bright spot of fun and freedom after a dark and gloomy period. Thorsen translates the historical archives into sculptural statements by presenting body-height photographic clippings of the contemporary play sculptures winding around the metal frames. One of Sofie Thorsen’s intentions is to place the play sculpture from the Austrian capital in the international context of which it is a part.

Thorbjørn Bechmannʼs installation is specifically based on the play sculpture IG 383, originally created by Danish artist Ib Geertsen back in 1957, and which now lies neglected on a lawn in Skodsborg. Geertsen’s play sculpture, as a practical and idealistic object, has inspired Bechman to examine the significance of play, learning and self-development. The result is an installation which, through video and sculpture, points towards learning processes and social awareness.

Via a diverse network of artistic, architectural and social historical paths, the two artists show us the discarded aesthetic remnants of the past, and thereby raise questions about our social and aesthetic values, then and now.


Thorbjørn Bechmann (b. 1966) graduated from the Royal Danish Art Academy of Fine Arts in 1994. He has had a number of solo exhibitions, most recently Kuomiko projektet at DAMP Gallery, Copenhagen, 2012, and IG 383 og Vridsløselille Sessionerne at Gallery Tom Christoffersen, Copenhagen, 2011. Furthermore his work has been included in several group exhibitions in Denmark and abroad, among these Tasted Shapes at Budapest Galleria, 2012, and A need for Reason at Rohde Contemporary, Copenhagen, 2011. In 2013 he is participating in Moscow Outreach and in a group exhibition at 25cpw in New York. In 2000 he exhibited at Overgaden with the exhibition BRB. Thorbjørn Bechmann lives in Copenhagen.

Sofie Thorsen (b. 1971) is educated at the Royal Danish Art Academy of Fine Arts and Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna in the period 1995-2001. She has had several solo exhibitions, among others Schnitt A-A‘ at Kunsthaus Graz and Kunsthaus Baselland, 2012, Habitat at Kunstverein Düsseldorf, 2011, and The Colourless Island at The Aarhus Art Building, 2009. Additionally she has participated in numerous group exhibitions, for instance at 21er Haus, Vienna, 2011, Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense, 2011, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, 2010/2012, and at Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, 2010. At Overgaden she has previously participated in the group exhibition Models of Resistance, 2000, Ude og hjemme, 2005, and Overdragelser, 2008. Thorsen has published several catalogues, most recently Schnitt A-A‘ from 2012, and in 2011 she was the recipient of the Danish Art Council’s 3-year grant. Sofie Thorsen lives in Vienna.

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