Wattis Institute

Henrik Olesen

16 Mar - 14 May 2017

Henrik Olesen
The Walk, 2017
installation view, Wattis Institute
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York
Photo: Johnna Arnold
The Walk
March 16 – 14 May 2017

Curated by Anthony Huberman

Underneath everything, there’s dirt. Most of the time, we regulate and contain it. We cover it up with floors, roads, buildings, even entire cities. When it spills, we sweep it up—it’s as if we were hiding or repressing it.

Henrik Olesen adds dirt to the neatness and sexlessness of conceptual art. He is drawn to surfaces that are scarred, deformed, uneven, and deliberately rough. He works against all that is antiseptic and towards an art that recognizes desire, profanity, obscenity, perversion, and jouissance as productive and emancipatory forces. If Olesen is dirty, it’s because he takes the culturally constructed boundaries that separate man from woman, gay from straight, normal from abnormal, and dirties them up. He queers all that is fixed and organized, replacing it with the dissolved and the disorganized—the polysexual.

For this exhibition, Olesen creates a site-specific installation of new work along with a selection of existing works from the past five years.

Henrik Olesen (b. 1967, Esbjerg, Denmark) lives and works in Berlin.

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