Indepth Arts News: |
"Art Now:Knut Åsdam: Psychasthenia (10)"
2000-07-11 until 2000-10-01
Art Now is a programme of contemporary art at Tate Britain which aims to provoke
awareness and discussion of new and unfamiliar art in Britain today. For the latest
exhibition in the series Knut Asdam has produced a new body of photographic work,
examining the modern high-rise city block, possibly one of the most pervasive images of
the modern metropolis.
Åsdam was born in 1968, in Trondheim, Norway, and educated in London at Wimbledon
College of Art (1988-9) and Goldsmiths College (1989-92). He has exhibited extensively in
the US and Europe and was selected for the Nordic pavilion in the 1999 Venice Biennale.
He is currently showing new work at the Kunsthalle Vienna and the Tommy Lund Gallery
in Copenhagen. Despite training in London, this is Åsdams first show in Britain. He now
lives and works in New York.
Åsdam uses a range of media, working with and combining architectural installations,
photography, video, and sound. Despite this formal diversity, his work is thematically
consistent, primarily concerned with what the artist describes as contemporary
subjectivity. Åsdam demonstrates how societys structures and codes are embodied in
architecture. The vulnerability of the individual is addressed through his complex
installations, which frequently have an architectural character, with darkened spaces
where participants lose their sense of self. Åsdam offers a critique of the physical and
psychological impact of architecture, notably modernist architecture, and its links with
masculinity and authority.
In Åsdams photographs for Art Now, anonymous apartment blocks, shot mainly in
London and New York, are seen from surrounding parkland, captured through a veil of
trees and flattened against an overcast night sky. In the darkness, they appear as dream
imagery, distant and mysterious. The solitary viewer may be both drawn to them, and
unnerved by them.
From Psychasthenia (10) 2000
Courtesy the artist