When we drink from a cup or kick a stone not many of us think about where they come from, why they look like they do, or what they may have experienced along the way. But perhaps the objects surrounding us have more to say about us and our world than we think?
Questions like these are central to the art practise of Johan Rosenmunthe, in which he uses sculpture, performance and installations to probe the relationship and not least the dynamics between human and non-human ways of being. In the exhibition HiddeninPlainSight the artist pursues this trajectory, transforming the ground floor O—Overgaden into an archaeological site for the speculative study of objects, memory and time.
A leitmotif of the exhibition is Rosenmunthe’s hypothesis that objects absorb information from their surroundings through sound waves, hormones, shifts in temperature, etc. From this perspective, the extended limestone landscape in the first section of the exhibition becomes a data-packed source embodying the stories of million-year-old life forms, geological disruptions, industrialisation, and the transportation of the material from the limestone quarry to the exhibition space. What if we could extract this knowledge? Inspired by scientific methods and the industrial domain this hypothesis is developed in different ways in the works in the exhibition. In WaitingforOsmosis, for example, objects like toothbrushes, violin bows and a robotic arm are immersed in liquids of various colours in backlit glass vitrines with a glow of science fiction and alchemy. The liquid in one of the vitrines can even be tapped and drunk to create a bodily connection with the objects within it.
Johan Rosenmunthe (b. 1982) is a graduate of the Danish School of Art Photography Fatamorgana and Roskilde University. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at Tranen Contemporary Art Centre, Kunsthal NORD, and Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Denmark, as well as DELI Gallery in New York, MELK in Oslo, and Museum De Domijnen in Holland. He has also published several artist books, including Tectonic(2014).