For Søren Andreasen, Johannes Christoffersen and Sebastian Schiørring, Collection Mabuse is an attempt to use the idea of a ‘collection’ as an exhibition format.
The exhibition at Overgaden will be characterised by a movement from the parts towards the whole, and should thus be read and understood in a methodical rather than a thematic manner.
The exhibition title, which refers to the scheming super-villain Dr. Mabuse, created by the writer Norbert Jacques and made world famous by filmmaker Fritz Lang, is a metaphor jointly created by the works in the exhibition: a metaphor for the special power structures that dominate the collection’s inner logic and order. The three artists all work on the basis of the principle that all artistic action is driven by a vision of spaces which perhaps do not yet exist, but which nonetheless constitute the condition of action. Collection Mabuse is one such space – a space which immediately attempts to lay claim to a certain authority and order.
As the artists explain: “… when we revive Mabuse in 2011, it is as a symbolic mechanism that replaces Mabuse as a gangster, fascist and capitalist. Collection Mabuse is thus the context of the works, which acts as a reverse way of asking whether we can do more than just reproduce and confirm the power structure, the order to which we are subject.”
The three artists have each created individual works which, in combination, form a fragmented collection of videos, murals, photographs, posters and texts. What these have in common is that the real plane is experienced through the story of ‘the real’. An example is Sebastian Schiørring’s filmic work Overtoning til sort (Fade to Black), in which a 35mm film of a panoramic view from the octagonal pavilion on the roof of the Overgaden building is wound through an octagonal film spool mounted on one of the columns of the anteroom. Rather more ominous is the reference in Johannes Christoffersen’s sci-fi project, which bears the overall title Autopsy of a Ra-fly, to the fictional literary figure of Omon Ra, who holds an apartment block in Corviale on the outskirts of Rome under surveillance – like Mabuse, he becomes the personification of a power structure.