Galleri Jacob Bjørn is pleased to present Panem et Circenses, a solo exhibition by Danish artist Mikkel Carl. The exhibition title is Latin for “Bread and Games”, a figure of speech referring to superficial means of appeasement. Within a political context, the metonymic phrase means to generate public approval not by excellence in office, but by satisfying only the most base requirements of a populace: food and entertainment.

The exhibition extends Mikkel Carl’s pre-occupation with the repurposing of industrial space into that of art. Through tight spatial propositions, the artist suggests that the implications of such a process of spatial appropriation are at once formal, semiotic, and economic—not dissimilar from the fundamental logic of the ready-made. This dialectical looping back between object and meta-object, between macro and micro scales of signification, characterizes much of Carl’s work; a method he has referred to as “associative grammar.” Here, exhibition contexts are considered and approached as linguistic structures in their own right, their signification ripe for deconstruction and critical intervention. These may range from poignant socioeconomic critiques to hoax epistemological propositions, often presented simultaneously and side-by-side, causing bewilderment in the viewer. By riffing histories of minimalism, conceptual art, institutional critique, and relational aesthetics in both sincere and highly satirical ways, Carl questions the very legitimacy of ...

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