In Copenhagen, V1 gallery is currently presenting a large-scale ceramic installation by the Danish artist Rose Eken, entitled Tableau. This work, on view through September 19, is the outcome of an extensive research based on Eken’s correspondence and dialogue conducted with other contemporary artists around the world. Tableau is the artist’s largest installation to date, comprising of hundreds of ceramic objects: brushes, buckets of paint, box cutters, clusters of books and magazines, half-finished cups of coffee, ghetto blasters, laptops, Iphones and other personal objects. Here you can find the imitation of John Copeland’s collection of vintage playboy magazines and old axe, Fryd Frydendahl’s Canon EOS D5 Camera or Wes Lang’s collection of wooden tobacco pipes.
Miniature ceramic models are dispersed in the exhibition space, suggesting a study on the universal artistic language and clichés. By operating from real live folders in order to create her own fictional story, Eken proposes a generic model of the artist studio. The objects and their symbolism brought together in the exhibition are very different in their forms: simultaneously, whereas wine bottles and cigarette butts unfold highly sentimental ideals regarding artist atelier, a more digitalised and updated version of the artistic figure manifests itself through MacBooks and iPhones. These observations help to understand transforming identities of artist, when the traditional craftsman-like idea of the artist image makes room for more scattered practises and identities.
With Tableau, Eken succeeds in mimicking a set of preapproved beliefs, while proposing a gaze into artistic banalities. The ceramic compositions in the exhibition are imbued with frivolity; yet their presence in a shared space and strangely precise arrangement place them within purely subjective associations. Eken’s correspondence-based research has not been conducted in order to document, but rather to assume the significance of encounters, at many different levels. This studio “replica” proposed by Eken puts forward the idea of the artist atelier often conceived as something mystical and almost sacred place, but also, referring to the almost religious ritual of studio visits. Artist studios are understood as highly intimate and personal places, yet they’re susceptible of the gaze of the outside world.
Rose Eken was born in Denmark (1976) and graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 2003. She received critical praise for her recent solo exhibition Remain In The Light at The Hole gallery in New York. Her first work from the “Tableau series” was acquired by ARoS museum of art in the summer of 2015. A new publication documenting the process and exhibition will be released to coincide with Tableau. Rose Eken would like to thank the following artists for inspiration and for sharing their studios: Michelle Grabner, Erwin Wurm, Søren Behncke, Joakim Ojanen, Ivan Andersen, Mikael Swaney, Richard Colman, Shane Bradford, Jonathan Meese, Eske Kath, Julie Nord, HuskMitNavn, Hartmut Stockter, Andreas Schulenburg, Kaspar Bonnén, Chloe Piene Studio, Maiken Bendt, Cecily Brown, John Copeland, Graham Dolphin, Alexander Tovborg, Morten Schelde, Michael Kvium, Wes Lang, Fryd Frydendahl, Hesselholdt & Mejlvang, Kristian Devantier, Erik Parker, Fischli & Weiss, Jackson Pollock and Joan Miró.