Touring exhibition through Denmark, 2012

The temptation is rife, to follow your lead, colour your eyes, to take your chances, to take your chances whilst you have them - James Yorkston

Atilla Szűcs - Leo is sitting in an armchair
Attila Szűcs - Leo is sitting in an armchair, 2011, oil on canvas, 190×240cm

Museum Sønderjylland, Haderslev DK
June 16 - August 12 2012

Kunstforeningen Det Ny Kastet DK
August 17 - September 15 2012

Kalundborg Kunstforening DK
September 22 - October 28 2012

Henning Larsen's Kunstpavilion, Videbæk DK
November 2 - December 16 2012

Adam Bota
Konstantin Déry
Alejandro Rodríguez González
Simone Haack
René Holm
Eoin Llewellyn
Enda O'Donoghue
Steffi Stangl
Stepanek & Maslin
Jens Thiele
Attila Szűcs & others

Curated by Uwe Goldenstein

Exhibition view (Videbæk) / Ausstellungstext auf Deutsch

FRAGILE WORLDS is the second exhibition of works by SELECTED ARTISTS in Denmark. The first exhibition in Denmark was shown in Aalborg (YOUNG EUROPEAN LANDSCAPE, 2011). Concentrating on the broken relations between mankind and nature, the exhibition was also shown in Berlin at the Collegium Hungaricum's Moholy Nagy Gallery. I founded SELECTED ARTISTS in 2010, after several years of international research for artists of both outstanding talent and philosophically relevant quality. SELECTED ARTISTS is focussed on contemporary painting: a profound medium of slowness, contemplation and reflection. As a place for expressive and solitary reflection, contemporary painting offers a kind of magical space, pointing out an alternative trajectory to the hyper-digitalised, banal decomposition and shallow perception of our present.

Located in Berlin, SELECTED ARTISTS is based on international partnerships with galleries, institutes and museums in Hungary, Italy, Turkey, Denmark and Germany. While SELECTED ARTISTS's ambition is to give a representative impression of the contemporary European art scene, its vision aims at establishing a content-related, sophisticated art, able to truly reflect our present and question the spirit of our times in a quiet and critical way. The SELECTED ARTISTS group is basically characterized by its international origins and presence, as well as by its forthright interchange off the usual commercial interests. Since Berlin has come to be known as the new European metropolis of arts, most of the SELECTED ARTISTS, attracted by its vibrance and diversity, also live and work there. Some live in different European countries but regularly join SELECTED ARTISTS events and exhibitions. Metaphorically speaking, our group works more like an artistic-philosophical traveller circus than an art gallery. An example of SELECTED ARTISTS's flexibilty is the exhibition TECHNOLOGY WON'T SAVE US. YOUNG ART FROM BERLIN (2011) in Istanbul. In the context of the local biennial arts festival I presented the works of eleven of my artists, thus evoking a novel and vivid cultural and intellectual exchange.

Thematically, FRAGILE WELTEN concentrates on the fragility of the world we live in, especially on the vunerability — often concealed beneath shining surfaces — of an environment constantly undergoing demystification. At its core, the exhibition is constituted by the formal and aesthetical arrangement and intersection of 14 different artists' positions (the works of 11 painters are combined with sculptures, collages, machines and experiments). But fragility can also be found in the sensitive structures of the works themselves. Furthermore, the exhibition's underlying curatorial concept tells stories and creates emotions that critically challenge the functional perfection of our lives. The precision and perfection of the works point to a hermetically sealed, hidden world, which offers viewers a momentary exit from the familiarity of everyday life. Compared to a reality that is increasingly detached from individual interiors, the experience of nature and the mystical roots of being, the contemplative mood of the exhibition seems all the more fragile. The absurdities, pictorial signs of decomposition and magical appearances within highly composed counterworlds presented here are a reaction to an evermore incomprehensible reality — which in its rapid pace, global synchronicity and rigidly functional ideology may actually be more fragile than it likes to pretend.

The artists' fragile worlds thus come to oppose a purely affirmative present, which — akin to an artificial ecstasy — endlessly reproduces itself and, owing to an ahistorical, thoroughly digitalised structure, vehemently curtails or indeed eliminates time for reflection, contemplation and rest. In this context, the present exhibition presents a highly topical projection surface, a space for withdrawal and recollection, dedicated to slowness and contemplation, to weightlessness and secretive moments. It is particularly addressed to a younger generation, which — exactly like the SELECTED ARTISTS — is driven by an urgent desire for withdrawal, and consciously seeks salvation in complexly layered, oftentimes surreal spaces, that offer an escape from a thoroughly rationalised, linear reality. FRAGILE WORLDS: a mild form of trance, a highly relevant parallel world, a quiet, subtle appeal to detachment and metaphysical flotation.

Uwe Goldenstein

Fragile Worlds - Exhibition view 2