Matias Faldbakken

Posted on Februar 5, 2012 
Filed under Watchlist: Artists and tagged ,

Matias Faldbakken, Installation View

Installationsansicht bei Simon Lee Gallery: Known to Few, Unknown to Fewer, 2010

Faldbakken employs vandalism and a destructive attitude towards pop culture in his visual practice, circling around the idea of artistic production as a „negative progression.“ This might at first appear to be a cynical approach towards art production, but is rather his exploration of the oxymoron at the heart of the idea „if art is the opposite of work, why work?‟ Often using language as a starting point to make his images, obscuring, suppressing and destroying letters, phrases and sentences in order to create visual abstractions, Faldbakken‟s interest lies in abstraction as a technique for rejection, rather than as an aesthetic exercise.

Developed from his earlier works using tape on canvas or directly on to walls, and from his interest in the Reinhardtian monochrome’s preoccupation with being a sign that refuses to signify, for his second exhibition at the gallery, Faldbakken has made a series of works using plastic garbage bags sporting deliberately incoherent acronyms and drawings. These acronyms are borrowed from titles, quotes and motivational slogans that serve as vehicles for Faldbakken’s practice of reticence. The scrawls are executed quickly, borrowing elements from the graffiti tag, for instance the long sloppy extension of one letter that taggers often include, which here serves to use up as much space as possible, to be visually annoying and to maximize the damage to the surface. In this series, the poverty of the material and the deliberate unintelligibility of the text collide, occupying a limbo between writing, image and object so that the works cannot be read meaningfully as any of the above.


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