Press Releases : 2012/12

Matias Faldbakken at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels

Published 2012/12/12

Installation of Matias Faldbakken's WAVE WAVE, WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, December 2012.


Curated by Marta Kuzma

15 December 2012–3 March 2013
Press Preview: Friday 14 December / 18:00
Opening Reception: Friday 14 December / 20:00

WIELS Contemporary Art Centre
Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354
1190 Brussels

PORTRAIT PORTRAIT OF OF A A GENERATION GENERATION, an exhibition organised and initiated by OCA in Spring 2012, opens at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, Belgium on Friday 14 December. This exhibition, originally curated by OCA's Director Marta Kuzma, reflects the artist’s ongoing interest in transforming the existing languages of form that emerge from particular periods in modernism. For this project, Faldbakken has sourced iconic sculptures created in the 20th century to carry out condoned acts of vandalism. Essentially, Faldbakken transforms modernist sculpture’s aspirations toward the aerodynamically abstract and the utopially minimal by converting iconic works of ‘art’ into vessels for intoxication. At every level of his practice as artist and writer, Faldbakken displaces and reconfigures cultural signifiers in order to create a field of agitated idleness. He imposes a turbulence on the original sequences of reading and interpretation, thus underscoring the eradication of cause and effect by heightening the symptoms of an alienated and self-obsessed society.

The title of the project draws from the work of the Norwegian sculptor Arnold Haukeland, Portrait of a Generation (1969–70), originally exhibited within the Venice Biennale in 1970. Faldbakken doubles the title as a way of abstracting or obscuring the text by repeating the same information. According to the artist, ‘It falls in line with my absenting, editing, censoring aspects and fragments of original sequences, a stuttering of the original meaning. It also reflects my interest in seriality as a critical and artistic device’.

Matias Faldbakken's work around 'bureaucratic vandalism' aims at altering the original material in order to arrive to a new meaning. This process of deconstruction as a seemingly destructive gesture seeks for a process of rehabilitation and perhaps even of regeneration of meaning. In the words of Arnold Haukeland, ‘to fill up forms with new content’. Faldbakken refers to iconic sculptures that have a personal relation to the artist’s own notion of art history as relevant to his native Norway.

For press inquiries and more information on the exhibition, please contact Micha Pycke, WIELS Contemporary Art Centre’s Press & Communications Officer.

About the artist
Matias Faldbakken (b.1973, Hobro, Denmark, lives and works in Oslo, Norway) has exhibited widely internationally and within Norway. His recent solo exhibitions include The Power Station, Dallas, TX, USA; Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany; Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Belgium; Kunsthalle St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland and The National Museum of Art, Design and Architecture, Oslo. He participated in the Nordic Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy in 2005 and dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany in 2012. As an author, his publications include Search (2011), Unfun (2008), Snort Stories (2006), Cold Product (2006), Macht und Rebel (2002) and The Cocka Hola Company (2001). Faldbakken received his education from the Academy of Fine Arts, Bergen, Norway and Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Office for Contemporary Art Norway 

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway is a foundation created by The Norwegian Ministry of Culture and The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in autumn 2001. The main aim of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway is to develop collaborations in contemporary art between Norway and the international art scene. The Office for Contemporary Art Norway aims to become a key contributor to the discourses of contemporary art.