O—Overgaden is one of the leading non-profit art institutions in Denmark with an irreverent program of emerging local and international voices in contemporary art, displaying around eight grand-scale exhibitions each year from its position in the heart of Copenhagen.
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Alexander Tillegreen: Shift
2 Apr – 22 May 2022

Alexander Tillegreen, episodic currents (phantom streams for O-Overgaden), 2022, Seven channel sound installation and programmed LED-lights, 18 min 44. sec, O—Overgaden, 2022. Photo: Mikkel Kaldal

For his first institutional solo exhibition in Denmark, the composer and visual artist Alexander Tillegreen has created sound installations, photos, paintings, and sculptures that examine how we attempt to create significance in the world via our senses. At the same time, the works show how this sensation is influenced by individual experience and background.

Alexander Tillegreen, Installation view, O - Overgaden, 2022. Photo: Mikkel Kaldal
Alexander Tillegreen, Vault (passage), 2022, Acrylic on wooden panel, 40 × 39,4 cm, O—Overgaden, 2022. Photo: Mikkel Kaldal
Alexander Tillegreen, Installation view, O - Overgaden, 2022. Photo: Mikkel Kaldal
Alexander Tillegreen, episodic currents (phantom streams for O-Overgaden), 2022, Seven channel sound installation and programmed LED-lights, 18 min 44. sec, O—Overgaden, 2022. Photo: Mikkel Kaldal
Alexander Tillegreen, episodic currents (phantom streams for O-Overgaden), 2022, Seven channel sound installation and programmed LED-lights, 18 min 44. sec, O—Overgaden, 2022. Photo: Mikkel Kaldal
Alexander Tillegreen, episodic currents (phantom streams for O-Overgaden), 2022, Seven channel sound installation and programmed LED-lights, 18 min 44. sec, O—Overgaden, 2022. Photo: Mikkel Kaldal
Alexander Tillegreen, episodic currents (phantom streams for O-Overgaden), 2022, Seven channel sound installation and programmed LED-lights, 18 min 44. sec, O—Overgaden, 2022. Photo: Mikkel Kaldal
Alexander Tillegreen, Installation view, O - Overgaden, 2022. Photo: Mikkel Kaldal

From the two central sound works in the exhibition, a series of rhythmic sounds are emitted, materialising into a profusion of ever-changing words in our ears. However, the words heard are not necessarily real. The phenomenon is known as phantom word illusions, developed by the British psychology professor Diana Deutsch. In continuation of Deutsch’s research, Tillegreen has begun a collaborative venture with researchers from the Max Planck Society in Frankfurt to conduct further studies into the phenomenon. The sound works in the exhibition are thus created specifically to evoke phantom words inside the head of the listener and these will change depending on how one moves in the room. Often, the words heard will resonate with one’s cultural and linguistic background, subconscious mind, and experience which, in the exhibition, paints a larger picture of how we each decode reality based on our various backgrounds.

Besides the two sound works, the exhibition includes a small series of abstract paintings and one of misty photographs of the surrounding architecture. Although we sense figural forms in the works, we lose our bearings in them. By offsetting the customary spatial, auditory, and visual layers of meaning, the exhibition confronts us with our own desire to understand the world fully.

If you would like to contribute to Tillegreen’s works and further research activities, you can describe what you hear in the work by scanning the QR code available in the exhibition.

Alexander Tillegreen (b. 1991, DK) was educated at Städelschule (DE) and the Cooper Union School of Art (US). His works have been shown at the Museum MMK für moderne Kunst Frankfurt (DE), the CTM Festival (DE), Fotografisk Center (DK), the National Gallery of Denmark, and Kunsthalle Darmstadt (DE). He has just opened a solo show at the museum FuturDome (IT) and will be releasing his first album on the label raster-media.

This exhibition is made possible with the support of:

Alexander Tillegreen: episodic currents (phantom stream for the exhibition Shift, O - Overgaden, 2022). Video: Christian Brems