Indepth Arts News: |
"Andrea Jespersen and Ben Woodeson"
2004-09-18 until 2004-10-17
Overgaden - Institute
of Contemporary Art
Andrea Jespersen and Ben Woodeson are exhibiting together at Overgaden or
the first time. In this exhibition they both have the book The Science of
Superheroes (2002) as their starting point. All though the two artists
have very different ways of practice, they both examine and describe the
widespread phenomenon superheroes. Andrea Jespersen captures the walls of
the room, on which she in her quiet and accurate way concentrates on
"superpowers". Through objects and paper she has extracted and
concentrated the superpowers from comics, but isolated and let alone the
superpowers in her work also deals with power and manifestations of power
on a general level.
Jespersen also tries to find superpowers outside the colourful universe
of the comics, whereby her work becomes a sort of meta-reflection on our
need to believe in the existence of superpowers and superheroes. In this
way her work also deals with superheroes and superpowers as a cultural
phenomenon and an actual necessity, whereby her work in this exhibition
like her practice generally, comments on our culture, our habits, our
knowledge and faith. The manifestations of fantasy in the comics with the
ultimate hero is a useful instrument for an understanding of our culture
and conditions of life.
Ben Woodeson focuses in the exhibition not on the superheroes but on
their dark counterpart the supervillains. From the comic X-Men Woodeson
examines the character of Magneto and his power to manipulate metals. The
supervillain carries a burning hate against the human race and with his
powers he tries to wipe out the entire human race from the face of the
earth. With low-tech constructions and other devices Woodeson attempts to
recreate the power of Magneto. Among other things is exhibited a device
that attempts to physically turn the gallery 180 degrees - just like
Magneto tried to turn the poles of the earth in order to make the mutants
the dominant race on the earth instead of the humans. Woodeson has in this
way taken his starting point in a technical designing of devices that are
able to imitate the powers of the superhero. These devices imply different
moral interpretations of the actions the devices - if they worked - could
make, both morally, indelicately and neutrally. These Interpretations
basically depend on the viewer and on the intentions behind the
experiments. In this way the exhibition of the works by Ben Woodeson and
Andrea Jespersen is not only a playful fascination and exploration of
superheroes and supervillains but also a serious statement that deals with
cultural and ethic questions that are part of the debate about the
possession of supernatural powers.
Text by Karin Hindsbo, Overgaden.
In too Deep
RED Gallery, Hull, 2001.
Mega Drive, TV, Bath, Safeway Saver's Tomato Soup, Copper and Zinc
The piece consisted of a bath of cheap tomato soup which generated the
power for an old computer game and B+W TV. The computer game was playable
by the viewers.