Cataloguetext for the "In search of the
4th dimension" exhibitions at Galleri Andersen & Jul, AAlborg,
DK and Gentofte Art-library, Hellerup, DK.
In Search of the 4th dimension
Red/Green. In the 3D-experience the world displays itself to you.
The illusion is tangible and most of all, genuine. In just the same
way art may leave you with the impression that the world displays
itself to you in a new dimension which justifies it's presence as
The artistic process of creation as the point where form and matter,
oeuvre and process meet, is also the point where the artist's search
begins. The struggle with the world in an attempt to make reality
appear as coherent whole. Reacting against an existential cul-de-sac
- at war even with the surrounding reality - the artist will seek
to distill his vision of fact.
Bjørn Pierri Enevoldsen's series, In Search of the 4th Dimension,
is a sequence of paintings in which the main theme is their own
creation. In other words, they investigate how creation takes place.
But not only in the artistic sense. Bjørn Pierri Enevoldsen
turns his investigations into a collective event where his series
of paintings function as fragments of a continuous tale, describing
modern man's search for further dimensions in life.
The focal point in the paintings is a man, the exact likeness of
Enevoldsen himself, wearing a pair of 3D-glasses, whom we follow
on various investigative excursions. Inserting the 3D-glasses is
Enevoldsen's way of creating a symbol of the search for another
profound dimension where the red-green filter figuratively speaking
permits the artist's scientific distance to the reality he investigates.
The investigations themselves are spread over a diversified spectrum
- from news media over natural phenomena to adrenaline-sport and
art. One common denominator for all areas investigated is that they
are all invested with the ideal notion that they at least contain
the desirable clues to new perception.
By using the 3D-glasses as a recurrent motif, Enevoldsen points
at the faculty of vision as human sense which lends itself best
to insight whereby the paintings at first confirm the general idea
that vision to a greater extent than the other senses is the vehicle
to reason and rationality. Using his eyes, Enevoldsen's artist-figure
investigates reality from without. He sees for himself. This apparent
accept of the supremacy of vision is also underlined on the formal
level by Enevoldsen's painting technique: By and large details are
clearly rendered and laid open to the spectator's understanding.
Simple compositions concentrate the message to the utmost degree.
The synthetically pure colour scheme, borne by strong contrast rather
than subdued half-tones, results in a stylized naturalism which
again emphasizes the distance to reality as symbolised by the 3D-glasses.
In itself the sequence of paintings is a series of segments of reality,
presented to the spectator in Technicolor as though seen through
a filter with special colour-enforcing effect. When used as here,
and gazing at a reality which is not prepared for 3D-vision, the
glasses are actually impediments to the vision. Paradoxically the
series herewith demonstrates how vision is not infallible as a means
The man wearing the 3D-glasses is constantly being used as a symbol,
the meaning of which changes along with the changes in context.
In one of the paintings actual creation is illustrated as an event.
The painter is portrayed in the mythological moment when the creative
process begins - in that spectacular second when the first brush-strokes
are set on the canvas. In the painting the artist is seen sitting
in front of an empty canvas in violent contrast to a surrounding
visual riot of sketches, paint-brushes, tubes of paint, photos,
newspaper-cuttings, candy-wrapers and coke-bottles. The agressive
whiteness of the canvas intensifies the magic of the moment where
the painting is begun: On the naked canvas. Everytime. Placing the
artist immediately in front of the empty canvas underlines the immediacy
of the creative process. The upper part of his body fits exactly
into the frame of the canvas, whereby the pristine canvas also functions
as a portrait of the painter himself at the onset of the creative
process and as pre-destination of a future motif.
This representation of a magic moment in time places the painting
among the genre of pictorial, photographic and filmic 'documentations'
of 'the artist at work in front of his easel' a genre which too
often dwells on the creation of the art-work whereby the stubborn
illusion is born that being a witness to the creative process automatically
leads to a better understanding of the final work, not to speak
of the painter's personality. In point of fact, the idea of the
alleged close connection between vision and intellect is indicative
of a view of art which blindly overlooks - or deliberately ignores
- the painter's conceptual deliberations - the thoughts which necessarily
must precede the visible result.
On one important point however, Enevoldsen breaks with the traditions
of the genre: He does not disguise the fact that he is aware of
being watched. On the contrary he confronts the spectator (who is
also seen by the painter in a 3-dimensional version) whereby he
at this very moment in the creative process may be said to shift
the artistic responsiblity to the viewer. It is now the spectator's
own task to fill that vacuum of inspiration expressed by the artist.
In the self-portrait it is the artist alone who determines how he
wants to present his working environment and consequently his art
work and conception of art.
In the very same painting Enevoldsen repeats sections of the other
paintings in the series in the manner of 'a painting within a painting'.
This repetition of images, in advance caught in representations,
refers to the multiplying principle in the production of pictures.
In this way everything in the painting is seen as re-production.
By doing this, Enevoldsen comments the construction and sequence
of coming events, thus forecasting the existence of the other paintings.
He acts as director, as he who literally keeps the keys to the action
in his hands, as he who directs the artist on the canvas, casting
him in various existentialist roles where he becomes his own spectator,
for instance in two of the sequence's other paintings, where he
humouristically attempts to penetrate other artists' visions. In
this case, Baselitz and Beuys. Momentarily he dares enter into the
experiment of seeing with eyes not his own. These paintings are
yet another example of Enevoldsen's multi-dimensional art.
To the right of the white canvas you see a finished painting which
shows the painter with 3D-glasses standing between two easels on
which are placed respectively a green and a red painting. The painting
works in the same way as a reflection in a mirror - a perspective
of repetitions where the motif repeats itself in an infinite corridor
of mirrors where the same paint-brushes dipped in red and green
paint are lifted again and again, and where the image of the artist
as the centre between a symmetrical doubling of easels likewise
is repeated again and again all the way to the vanishing point of
the perspective. In this painting Enevoldsen is more specifically
interested in the very act of painting as the exponent of the condition
of the artist The act of painting is represented as a routine gesture
and the artist himself as a machine-like and disillusioned mechanism
who, apathetic and blind, appears to be an automation painting pictures.
Here the repetition is an image of the watering down of the value
of paintings as carriers of insight and bearers of meaning. The
painting becomes a comment on the artist's inherent doubts with
regard to his chosen profession. Enevoldsen plays irony and sincerity
against each other in this statement on the eternal cycle of illusion
and desillusion as experienced by artists, or indeed mankind. In
his desillusioned state, man believes himself to be free of illusions,
all the while he still labours under the cynicism which follows
upon desillusion. The conviction that the world does not appear
to be what you originally thought is yet another proof that you
are still in the thrall of illusions.
You may conclude that in his art Bjørn Pierri Enevoldsen
discusses common problem of doubt - doubt about how to interpret
the world. He focuses on man's continuous search and attempts to
provide an answer to the question of whether longing and change
are expressions of the covering of distances, of other realities
or another life; whether change is proof of our going anywhere or
whether change takes place in our bodies and heads only?
Lotte Møller and Stenka hellfach
(Translated by Ida Pagh)
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