With a nod to Botticellis legendary spring painting from 1482, Kaspar Oppen Samuelsens exhibition ‘Primavera Exoskeleton’ is abundant with fable-like creatures and sceneries. First impression is a looped video installation showing a small cowboy figurine standing in a windowsill. Cloaked in cobweb and bathed in sunlight, the figurine’s only company is a banal and weary banjo tune, which, like the cowboy, seems condemned to eternal repetetion.
The exhibition builds on pre-modern forms of storytelling like fables or fairy tales and is populated by human bodys and human-animal hybrids. An abstract shaman rides a black and white horse. A female gazes mysteriously at the viewer, while a treelike structure emerges from her body. Two people fight each other with hands and a pitchfork, while small stripes of canvas leans out into the gallery space, like straw on a field.
The works are paper and textile collages. Structure and layers are clearly visible and offer an elaborate narrative of their own, separate from the figurative elements. Referring to an eternal skeleton in the exhibition title, Oppen Samuelsen doesn’t merely invites us to look for meaning beyond the mythical and mysterious surface(s) of the works. Investigating the surface in its own right becomes just as important.
Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen has a MFA from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (2008-11) and a BA in Fine Art and Contemporary Critical Theory from Goldsmiths College, University of London (UK) (2000-03). He has exhibitited at Traneudstillingen, LARM galleri, Treignac Projet (FR), Neue Berliner Räume (D), Nakagawa (JP), Christina Wilson.