Treasure / Karin Kaster

24 AUGUST - 22 SEPTEMBER 2007
24 August 2007

Treasure / Karin Kaster

Images

Description

/ Danish /
Et postmodernistisk wunderkammer

I Karin Kasters ’underværks-teater’ blandes symboler på sandhed og uskyld med tegn på forfalskning, simulering og mørk mystik. Kunstnerens usædvanlige iscenesættelse af funklende kuriositeter og mageløse rariteter minder om fortidens wunderkamre, hvor en enorm mængde af objekter fra alle verdensdele var samlet i skøn – men ikke altid lige lødig – forening.

De europæiske renæssancefyrsters raritetskabinetter har dannet grundlag for nutidens kunst-, kultur- og naturhistoriske museer. I modsætning til museets forskningsbaserede rum var raritetskabinettet imidlertid en slags magisk sted fyldt med ikke blot billedkunst, antikker, etnografika, religiøse levn og våben, men også mere ejendommelige genstande som enhjørningehorn eller hestekæber boret ind i træ. Raritetskabinetterne var mikro-kosmiske refleksioner af menneskets verdensbillede og spejlede dermed tidens særlige tro og overbevisning. Oplevelsen af disse tidlige samlinger kan sammenlignes med barndommens første læringserfaring.

Den nysgerrighed, magi og fantasi, der knytter sig til såvel raritetskabinettet som børne-årene, lever på mange måder videre på Karin Kasters udstilling Treasure. Maleriernes overflødighedshorn af elementer vider sig her ud i tre dimensioner og lokker beskueren med et installatorisk mix af overraskelser, romantik, julehygge og fødselsdagsfest. Kasters kunstkammer taler til barnet i os, der straks går på opdagelse i det utraditionelle, mangefacetterede univers.

Kæmpe-perler i gabende muslingeskaller, dekadente lertøjsfigurer, glimtende diamanter, spejlblanke, farvede kugler og store hjerter. Det er svært ikke at begejstres og lade sig rive med. Men ligesom barnet, der modnes, træder ’forskeren’ i os snart i karakter. Bag de lækre ’bling-bling’-overflader er det ved nærmere eftersyn svært at skelne andet end tomhed. Eller forfald og dekomposition. Således iagttager vi, hvordan hvide og sorte mider kravler frem fra de skinnende rekvisitter. Kun en kort stund bliver glimmeret hængende på Kasters glansbilled-dekoration. Så krakelerer fernisen og materien vælter ud. Den mørke af slagsen.

Træk roligt et håndtegnet skattekort over det indre landskab – over sindets labyrint – og gå beredvilligt vild i dette kosmos. Følg, om du vil, natsværmeren, mørkets væsen, der i kraft af sin frihed fra rum og begrænsninger viser os indgangen til en uendelig dimension. For det er her, den virkelige skat ligger begravet.

Med venlig hilsen,
Christoffer Egelund

/ English /
A postmodernistic Wunderkammer

Karin Kaster’s ‘miracle theatre’ mixes symbols of truth and innocence with signs of falsification, simulation and dark mystique. This artist’s unusual staging of glittering curiosities and marvellous curios remind us of the Wunderkammer – ‘wonder rooms’ or cabinets of curiosities, as they were called – of the past, in which a multitude of objects from all corners of the world were gathered together in wonderful – but not always immaculate – harmony.

The cabinets of curiosities owned by European princes during the Renaissance formed the basis for today’s museums of art, culture and natural history. Unlike the research-based rooms of museums today, a cabinet of curiosities was always a kind of magical place filled not just with pictorial art, antiques, ethnographic items, religious relics and weapons, but also with stranger objects such as unicorn horns or horse jawbones partially embedded in wood. Cabinets of curiosities were microcosmic reflections of man’s image of the world and thus reflected the particular beliefs and convictions of the time. Seeing one of these early collections can be compared with the first learning experiences of childhood.

The combination of curiosity, magic and imagination that is connected with both ‘wonder rooms’ and our childhood years lives on in the Karin Kaster exhibition Treasure. The cornucopia of elements in the exhibition paintings expand into three dimensions and entice the viewer with an installationary mix of surprises, romance, Christmas bonhomie and a birthday party atmosphere. Kaster’s ‘wonder art’ speaks to the child in all of us, as our immediate impulse is to explore this unorthodox and many-faceted universe.

Huge pearls in gaping-wide clamshells, decadent clay figurines, sparkling diamonds, coloured shiny balls and big hearts. It is difficult not to become enthusiastic and get carried away. But just as the child must grow up, the ‘researcher’ in us all comes to the fore. As we take a closer look behind the gorgeous bling-bling surfaces, it is difficult to see anything but emptiness – or decay and decomposition. So we observe how black and white mites crawl out from under the shiny stage props. The glitter remains on Kaster’s shiny decoration only a short while; then the veneer cracks, and pus oozes out – the dark kind.

Calmly pull a hand-drawn treasure map across your inner landscape, over the labyrinth of your mind – and willingly lose yourself in this cosmos. Follow, if you will, the moth, a creature of the dark whose freedom from space and restrictions shows us the way to an infinite dimension – for it is here the real treasure lies buried.

Kind regards,
Christoffer Egelund

We are open Wednesday-Friday 3-6 PM and Saturday 12-4 PM.