Søren Dahlgaard

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The Dough Warrior project, Author Anders Kold, Publisher Stalke Galleri,Sam Jedig, design Flink, Pages 56, ISBN 87-90538-30-7

Text of Søren Dahlgaard

  • SREN DAHLGAARD

    THE DOUGH WARRIOR PROJECT!S

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  • Anders Kold, curator atLouisiana Museum ofModern Art, was summonedto a caf in Copenhagen inNovember 2007 to view anddiscuss the video DoughWarrior Painting His Garden,2007 for the documentary filmThe Dough Warrior aportrait of Sren Dahlgaard.The following excerpts are anabridged version of therecording:

    It is a good argument forthe view that art should notnecessarily be anaemic orencumbered by solemnity.Its acceptable to smile at thesame time. And the DoughWarrior certainly calls for asmile! The way he movesaround, humming quietly as ifhe were in the shower, whilehe carries out his work ofpainting small plots of landwith vibrant colours. Yes, it isquite funny I must say

    Anders Kold, museums-inspektr p Louisiana, blevsat stvne p en caf iKbenhavn i november 2007og prsenteret for videoenDough Warrior Painting HisGarden, 2007. Teksten er enredigeret og forkortet udgaveaf optagelsen:

    Det er et godt indlg fordet synspunkt, at kunst ikkendvendigvis br vreanmisk eller tynget af alvor.Man m godt trkke psmilebndet, og den herDejkriger, han kalder da psmilet. Den mde, han gr ogsmsynger p som om detvar i brusebadet - samtidigmed at han udfrer sitarbejde, som s alts er atmale en eller anden lilleparcel med pangfarver. Jo,det er ret morsomt, det mjeg sige

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    Bread drawing, 2007.

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  • Wall Riding, 2001Human paintbrush techniques no. 1.

    Slide paintings. Installation view.

    Slade School of Fine Art, London, 2002.Human paintbrush techniques no. 2.

    Paintings measure 122 x 244 cm each.

    Wall Riding, 2001.Video stills.

    Slide painting, 2002Performance still.

    Human Cannonball model, 2002.Edition of 3. 40 x 50 x 30 cm.Human paintbrush techniques no. 3.

    It says something aboutSren Dahlgaard, about himspecifically, but it also says alot about an individual at adifficult time or place inhistory. These days there aremany who paint, but only afew years ago in the year2000 it was relatively new.Im not saying that he paintedat the time, but you mustrelate to it. Painting is in one

    way or another the history ofart or a story within thehistory of art which we asindividuals must either throwa lump of dough at, paint overor do something to. This isbecause its the strongesttrend, and one that has beenelevated by the state andcollectors to the grandestwithin the old hierarchies...

    Det siger noget om SrenDahlgaard, om ham specifikt,men det siger jo meget om enfigur et sted i historien, hvordet har vret svrt. Nu erder enormt mange, der maler,men bare tilbage i r 2000,der var det alts stadigvklidt nyt. Nu siger jeg ikke, athan malede dengang, menman m forholde sig til det.Maleriet er p en eller anden

    mde den der kunsthistorieeller historie i kunsthistorien,som alle bliver ndt til entenat kaste en klat dej efter ellermale hen over eller gre eteller andet ved. Det er, fordidet er den strkeste strm-ning, det er ogs den, der erblevet lftet op af staten ogsamlerne som det fornemste ide gamle hierarkier

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  • Elliptic touchdown, 1999Photo series of 4 images.70 x 100 cm. Edition of 5 + 1 AP.100 x 150 cm. Edition of 1 + 1 AP.

    Drawings, 199930 x 40 cm.

    Its obviously brokendown and insulted manytimes, yet it continues toexpand: Painting is thelargest sour dough found inart, is it not? And Dahlgaardcomments on it. I cant helpthinking about a conversationI had with the Danish painterTal R in connection with hisexhibition at Louisiana (2007),where he began by saying: Ifyou concentrate on thecolours, you have lost as anartist. At first it seems anextremely provocativestatement coming from apainter, but it relates to whatDahlgaard is doing: Namely,to have an opinion aboutthings. Its not about subtlenuances and tones. Paintingis a tool one must relate to.It has a history and in thatstory there is a critique ofthe medium andSren Dahlgaard has takenthis on board.

    Det er selvflgelig brudtned og forhnet mangegange, men det hver barehele tiden, maleriet er denstrste surdej, der findes ikunsten, ikke sandt? Og derer han jo inde og kommenteredet. Jeg kan ikke lade vremed at tnke p en snak, jeghavde med Tal R i forbindelsemed udstillingen p Louisiana(2007), hvor han startede medat sige at, hvis man giver sighen til det med farverne, s

    har man tabt, som kunstner.Det er umiddelbart enekstremt provokerendekommentar, nr den kommerfra en maler, men det harfaktisk noget at gre med det,Dahlgaard laver. Nemlig atman m have en holdning tiltingene. Det er ikke nogetmed fine nuancer ogtonaliteter at gre. Maling eret redskab, som man mforholde sig til, og der er enhistorie, og der er en kritik af

    maleriet, der indgr i denhistorie, og den har SrenDahlgaard taget p sig. Jegtror aldrig, han bliver maler iden forstand, men han tema-tiserer det besvrlige vedkunsten, og s gr han detsamtidig morsomt, som nrhan i denne performancekaster sin egen krop ind

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  • One could say it alsopoints to another area the artworld currently concentrateson, namely the artist. Butwhat kind of figure is he thenif art can be outlined to anextent that an informalconversation becomes theartwork? The romantic figuredisappears completely typically the male painterwho staggers and fenceswith brushes. This figure hasalready been fiercelychallenged and it is here, onthe small plot of land, wherethe Dough Warrior treads. Ifhe is unable to guide thebrushes into the buckets ofpaint he merely lifts thebucket and paints. It is bothcomical and tragic, and isone of many stories portrayingthe difficulties of being anartist

    Man kan sige det er joogs med til at pege p enanden ting, som kunsten idisse r har fat i, nemligkunstneren. Hvad er hanfor en figur, hvis kunstenudgrnses i en sdan grad,at man kan sidde og have endiskussion, og dt s ervrket. Da forsvinder denromantiske figur helt vk,typisk den mandlige maler,der str og fgter med

    penslerne. Og den er jo alle-rede voldsomt udfordret ogdr lige ind p den parcel -trder dejkrigeren alts. Ogkan han ikke styre penslernened i btterne, da tager hanbtten op og maler. Det er ko-misk og tragisk, og det erendnu en fortlling blandtmange om det besvrligeved at st p det sted, derhedder en kunstner

    Hexagonal Cyclops, 2000.Photo series of 5 images.

    70 x 100 cm. Edition of 5 + 1 AP.100 x 150 cm. Edition of 1 + 1 AP.

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  • So Sren Dahlgaard is nota sensitive painter. He is aconceptual artist, a man ofideas, and puts himself to useif the staging dictates it. Thematerial must be workedthough to create what willeventually become an image:In this case an image of whatartists do. Artists take thingsand place them somewheredifferent, thus activating asignificance or meaning thatresults in a dialogue or atestimony

    Sren Dahlgaard er jo ikkeen flsom maler, han erkonceptkunstner, han er id-mager og forbruger sig selv.Der er noget stof, der skalgres noget med for at blivetil noget, og p et tidspunktkan det blive et billede, etbillede p, hvad kunstnerelaver. De tager noget og stillerdet et andet sted, og dermedfr de aktiveret en eller andenbetydning, de fr endiskussion eller et udsagn

    Challenging dough, 2005300 kg dough.20 kg yeast.2x2 m lawn.2x2 m hedge on ramp.

    Photo series of 4 images.Edition of 6 + 1 AP.

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  • Dough Warrior painting in studio, 2007.Performance stills.

    Dahlgaards versioncannot be executed tooharshly, too simply or tooclumsily. Therefore the artistfigure in this case theDough Warrior never getsanywhere as he struggleswith and gets caught up in hismedium which, just like hisstory, is sluggish. Art must,therefore, from time to timecut its own cord in order toprogress: Allowing others tothrow dough on you or toenter the arena and virtuallydestroy it through ineptitudemay achieve this effect. Inmuch the same way PeterLand dances naked in one ofhis video works, it is aperformance you can laugh atand keep at arms length, and

    yet there is the potential forempathy and possibly evenself-identification as anotheroption. Perhaps SrenDahlgaard feels like a DoughWarrior, perhaps he doesnt.He appears to be acombination of humancannon ball and a verysensitive individual. He findshimself in the art system andhas chosen dough as hismedium but could just as wellhave been impeded in hisquest by having brushes tiedon his body. He is obviouslytroubled by history, yet hiswork is not decidedly politicaland maintains anacknowledgement of art, ofartist and different models ofexistence as fundamental

    categories. At the same timehis work is so wacky ordistanced from reality that itcannot fail to bring at least asmile to ones lips. But wedont just sit and laugh at it

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  • The Dough Warriorhurdler paintings, 2007.View of set.

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  • Det kan s i Dahlgaardsudgave nsten ikke gresgroft nok, simpelt eller klodsetnok, og derfor bliver kunstnerfiguren her Dejkrigeren selvflgelig n, der aldrigkommer ud af stedet, fordihan kmper med og hngerfast i stoffet, der er trgt,ligesom historien er det.Kunsten skal derfor ogs en-gang imellem klippe sin egenline over for at komme videre.

    Det kan ske ved, at man laderandre kaste dej p sig ellerved selv at trde ind parenaen og nsten splitteden ad i sin klodsethed ogudsathed. Ligesom nr PeterLand danser ngen rundt. Derer noget, man kan grine ad,og som man dermed holder iarmslngde, og s er der enempati og mulig selvidentifi-kation. Det kan vre, at SrenDahlgaard fler sig som en

    Dejkriger, det kan ogs vre,at han slet ikke fler sig somn. Han er jo sdan enblanding af en kanonkonge oget flsomt individ. Han befindersig i kunstsystemet og harvalgt dejen, men kunne i ogfor sig lige s godt have vretbesvret af at have penslerspn