Jan S. Hansen: Populus
15 Jun – 4 Aug 2018

As we drowse on the threshold between being awake and sleep, time becomes elastic. Thoughts and impressions flow freely, branching out in associative leaps and connections, like flashes of meaning that evade the usual deductions of reason in a twilight zone of consciousness.

A similar dreamlike keynote resounds throughout Jan S. Hansen’s art practice, in which different media, materials and work components are pieced together to form ambiguous allegories of human civilisation. In a form of intuitive anthropological study, the artist establishes different views of how we are formed, behave and develop as individuals and as a society at the intersection of nature, culture and technology.

In the solo exhibition Populus Jan S. Hansen pursues this trajectory in a series of new works that include paintings, stoneware figures, sculptural objects, and small-scale installations. As tableaux or points of observation, the works constitute absurd assemblies, activities and situations in which basic necessities like tools, clothing and food are connected to the more spiritual dimensions of existence, softening the contours of reality and the exhibition space in a surreal way. In one place a white figure is about to sink into the wall, elsewhere a metal cube vibrates in a garden shed, and a pile of cutlery on a coffee table appears to be suspended in a force field eliminating the physical laws of nature. The works thus shift between interior and exterior states and conditions in a visual welding of dualistic opposites and their traditional division of the world.

Jan S. Hansen (b. 1980) graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2010. He was part of the artist-run exhibition space IMO until 2014, and has participated in solo and group exhibitions in both Denmark and abroad at Huset for Kunst og Design, Holstebro; Galleri Jacob Bjørn, Aarhus; Kunsthal 44Møen, Askeby; IMO, Copenhagen; On Stellar Rays, New York, and Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen. His most recent exhibition was at Marie Kirkegaard Gallery in Copenhagen.