The question of what is real has been debated throughout the entire history of humanity: Is it what our senses tell us, or is there a world beyond what we can immediately perceive?
In this philosophical field, Ebbe Stub Wittrup explores life’s enigmatic layers in the extensive solo exhibition The Voice of Things by highlighting phenomena and material drawn from the periphery of culture.
The front exhibition space on the ground floor O—Overgaden lies in semi-darkness. A thick white curtain screens off the exhibition from the city outside, in a theatrical gesture that marks our entry into a universe where the usual concepts of reality are suspended. Here, the film installation Mary Rose – A Play in Three Acts (2011) is presented, which, in three 16 mm films, meditates on dimensions other than those our senses can perceive. Physical places and concrete objects act as metaphors for mental portals to other possible worlds.
Through photographs, slides, films and objects, the works in the exhibition displace in various ways the distinction between the perceived and the imagined. From fantastic tales of mysterious disappea-rances in the stormy Hebrides, the perspective shifts to the illusory, in the myth of a legendary Indian illusion, depicted in the form of a hypnotic film sequence. In the encounter with the work Glass Cube (2011), the viewer’s own sensory perceptions are challenged, while in a series of photographic works, a psychoanalytical personality test based on colour preferences is coupled with the technically perfected art of portraiture.
A number of the works in the exhibition draw upon historical material, but instead of taking a detective approach to exploring the mythical tales, Ebbe Stub Wittrup moves through an intuitive series of associations in which he emphasises the enigmatic as a premise for experience. Thus, he questions our conventional definition of what is objectively real. Each of the works suggests an ambiguous picture of the world around us, and when science comes up short in the narratives of the works, the artist’s language points out possible alternative routes into the unexplained.