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Cataloguetext for the "Blow Up" exhibition at Galleri Rotor, Gøteborg, Sweden,
and Retinal Circus, Copenhagen, DK

BLOW UP - or The Essence of Explosion

'Blow Up' is as ambiguous a title as is Bjøm Pierri Enevoldsen's art work.
In itself the subtle English title 'Blow Up' may partly refer to what you see in the canvases - exploding petrol - and partly to the phenomenon of enlargement, where you in several of the series' paintings see detailed close-ups of an orange-red blaze.

Playing on this double entendre, the artist also makes it clear to us that in the 'Blow-up'- series he operates with several concepts and several levels of abstraction.
- The real life level of exploding petrol such as it happens at motor races or when buildings and aircraft are on fire
- His impressions and inspirations from the ficticious fires of action films.
- The technical, scientific expression referring to a working process, in itself objective and neutral. This complexity is discerned in the artist's very brush-technique. In opposition to the blazing inferno of fire, which he paints in so many layers of a warm orange-red that an almost three-dimensional effect is reached, he spreads the cool, bluish-gray sky as a flat across the painting. The ensuing realism is such that you are actually left in doubt whether you are looking at a photograph or not. The orange-red blaze he paints in such a way that it stands forth as the quintessence, the archetype, of an explosion; and when we look at the mushroom-shaped cloud formations, constantly in a process of transformation, we are in no doubt that the artist is inspired by exploding petrol, real-life explosions, as well as by the ficticious bangs in film and videos.

And yet this is not photo-realism. When you stand quite close to the paintings each individual stroke of the brush is visible as the deliberate and rhythmic point of impact which creates structure and form out of apparent chaos. Instead of choosing the relentless and neutral photography as the vehicle for his intentions, Bjøm Pierri Enevoldsen has chosen the tradition-loaded technique of painting, his point being that painting - unlike photography - catches the essence, the nature if you will, of the object to be depicted.

Photography only describes the moment within a given frame of action. Photography is ephemeral. Painting on the other hand disregards the dimension of time.
In his series of paintings 'Blow Up' Bjørn Pierri Enevoldsen has set himself the task of catching the essence of explosions, of grasping the archetype of form, the substance which lies at the heart of all explosions. His paintings are extremely convincing, you all but feel the burning heat and irrepressible force that lie in the explosions. It is as though Bjørn Pierri Enevoldsen in his objective and sober analyses of this special phenomenon of petrol-explosions has found the very stones, the genetical complex of form, with which to generate all matter - just as the microbiologist and the genetist look at the DNA-molecule as the foundation of all organic life.

Despite all their moments of objectivity and realism, the 'Blow-Up'-paintings are anything but unequivocal. Thanks to the double meanings which Bjørn Pierri Enevoldsen has worked into his titel and technique, the paintings are invaded by a kind of 'noise' which results in their not lending themselves to being 100% open for decoding. The spectator is so fascinated by the energy and beauty found in the paintings that he is led to forget the inherent destruction of the explosions. In this connection a slight suspicion of the artist being fascinated by the estheticism of violence springs to mind. At any rate the artist plays on the mixture of horror and fascination which we experience when confronted with catastrophes of any sort. And yet, and at the same time, we almost look askance at the artist's renderings of the reality of the explosions - they are almost too perfect, almost too beautifully rendered.

In fact, when you look at the paintings, the universe of computerized, artificial sceneries and landscapes of the so-called 'Virtual Reality' - or the fractals' waltz into nonentity - is immediately evoked to you. This is not surprising considering that Bjøm Pierri Enevoldsen often draws on computerized material in his work, his intention being that we, the spectators, are brought to reflect on what we see. He constantly provokes our preconceived notions, esthetics, intellect and heritage.

Bjørn Pierri Enevoldsen appeals to both our esthetic sense and to our intellect, he is in possession of an ever present vision in which he consciously coordinates an up-to-date concept of art with his talent for painting.

In his series 'Blow Up' Bjøm Pierri Enevoldsen has managed to integrate two apparently incommensurate dimensions - esthetics and intellect.

Tom Jørgensen

(Translated by Ida Pagh)


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