Physically and emotionally transgressive incidents are a pivotal focus of the practice of Danish-British artist Adam Christensen.
In his artistic work Adam Christensen places himself at the epicentre of situations where he is not capable of controlling the consequences. This vulnerability presents itself especially in his performances, and it can often be difficult to distinguish between the artist and his performed persona as he unfolds anecdotal narratives marked by fragmentation and discontinuity rather than linear stringency.
In his first major solo exhibition at a Danish art institution, Adam Christensen presents a series of new works that constitute a comprehensive scenography. Shitty Heartbreaker is partly inspired by surroundings, stories, and social relationships from his everyday life, and partly based on a video work still in progress entitled Eyes of Blood, an erotic thriller made in collaboration with the artist Sidsel Christensen exploring power relationships in a universe of female superheroes. In an atmosphere inspired by the grunge movement of the 90s, the components of the exhibition – as the clichés of its title imply – crosscut between the personal and references to popular culture, constructing a narrative of heartbreak, desire, memory and identity. With an unimpressed attitude and touch of ironic distance, the dirty, brutal and semi-biographical elements are combined with a thin-skinned intimacy that draws the viewer into a realm where the boundaries between reality and fiction blur.
The exhibition greets the viewer with an all-encompassing mise-en- scène inspired by Eyes of Blood that consists of hand-sewn textile works. Graphic, colourful and intimate in style, in recent years these have become one of the artist’s favourite forms of expression. Intertwined in the narrative of the textiles and the stage they demarcate, a number of paralleled plots are also featured in the exhibition – texts, sound and visual material that can more obviously be read as episodes from Adam Christensen’s own life. But their constant leaps and confusion of time, place and narrator, causes the collapse of the narrative structure of these stories.
During the exhibition period the installation is furthermore the setting for a series of performances in dialogue with the other works on show. On these occasions Adam Christensen will act as host in different roles, hereby creating a social space where the boundaries between the artist, work and viewer becomes fluent, another key element of the artist’s practice. By constantly adding new elements from these séances, the exhibition is in a state of development, re-writing the narratives in different ways.
The exhibition is curated by art historian James Day.
Adam Christensen (b. 1979) graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2007. His most recent solo exhibitions include OuterSpace (IT), OUTPOST Gallery (UK), Queen Adelaide (UK), and Maison Maca (GR). Furthermore he has made performances and participated in a wide range of group exhibitions including the Baltic Triennial (the Baltics), EKKM (EE), LimaZulu (UK), Centre for Contemporary Art Futura (CZ), Elain MGK (CH), Institute of Contemporary Art (UK), Glue Factory (UK), Performa 11, New Museum (US), David Roberts Art Foundation (UK), and Hollybush Gardens (UK).