Andersen's Contemporary is proud to announce the first solo show in Denmark by artist Jason Dodge.
Objects we readily recognise can be opened like doors to access a flow of associations and specific stories waiting to be discovered. The space of the gallery is used by Dodge as one element from a physical and imaginary chain of connections between space, time, and the constellation of objects in the show. Like a hub or nucleus, items are connected in and out of the exhibition in shifting proportions: from the inner features of a room to an outer world; other buildings, a street, a city, all the way up to the space above the weather in an endless network of resonances and possible narratives.
These things have a history we may not directly see, but which can be accessed through the work of imagination. Thinking of the exhibition as a 'machine which anyone with a mind who cares can enter,'1 Dodge invites the viewer to enter his work by activating their own imagination.
A door is placed in the gallery dividing the main exhibition space from the rest of the gallery. The door is laced with the seeds of Belladonna, and its functional simplicity altered by an uncanniness of proportion. On the floor, crates of bottled water are stacked amounting to roughly the weight of a body. The piece calls to mind the journey of this liquid through space and time, in and out of bodies.
Six pillows that have only been slept on by children are placed about the floor. A stack of folded bedding also rests there, and is exchanged every week by a linen service. Unlike the pillows, we do not know who has slept on these sheets, the hundreds, maybe thousands of adult stories that have unfolded in them from different moments in time and space.
In this scenario, the physical and imaginary relations of an object to space and time is informed by the sense of scale and the magnitude of its possible shifts. Two identical precision scales are placed on their sides. These scales, designed to calculate the pull of gravity, become the object of weight itself, never to be used for their original purpose. A large satellite dish with a silver ring attached at the top calls to mind other places; a longing or fantasizing about a faraway home, a means of channeling images like a true-to-life Ouija board, or spirit medium.
Ultimately, this system of subtle associations is connected to the emotional world of family relations and the unfolding of generations through time. A more intimate note is added to the exhibition by the portraits of the artist's grandmother and grandfather. The former is portrayed by removing a radiator from the office space and the latter by taking out all the lights from the main gallery: the removal of these specific features, illumination and heat, from the internal architecture, offers us a hint of who these people were and how their personal history affected later generations. This personal history, with its myths and narratives, can only be accessed through the physical feeling of what is missing from the space and is asking to be found.
Jason Dodge (b.1969 in Newtown, Pennsylvania) lives and works in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include CAC Vilnius, Lithuania (2011), La Galerie, Noisy le Sec, France (2010), Kunstverein Hannover (2010) and Kunstverein Düsseldorf (2009). His work is represented in numerous influential private and public collections, including the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art (Oslo), Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York) to name a few.