A conversation with Asbjørn Skou, Fie Norsker and Christian Lemmerz
Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art.
5-6 pm, May 22nd, 2019
What better location to have a conversation about drawing, than in an exhibition with 66 artistic variations of this medium, currently on view in Drawing Attention, at Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art. Asbjørn Skou, Christian Lemmerz, and Fie Norsker all participate in this exhibition.
Drawing is one of my favourite forms of artistic expression as it is the closest I can get to the process of creation and as it is similar to handwriting, instantly recognisable and specific to the person who creates it. Another fascination I have with drawing is the thin line between, and fragility of, it being considered an artwork or something that may be discarded, one wrong move and the drawing may be destroyed.
I have invited two draughtsmen, Asbjørn Skou and Christian Lemmerz and one draughtswoman Fie Norsker to talk about drawings. Drawing is a great part of their practices as artists and the content of their work will give rise to an interesting conversation on a variety of themes, and their individual practices, amongst others horror, dystopia, and comics. The conversation will also be about the exploration of media images and myths in drawings and the potential of drawing today.
Asbjørn Skou makes drawings in a variation of mediums: on paper, as murals and in conceptual books that he publishes. He works with a variation of materials such as charcoal, ink, and pencil all dependent on the given setting: site-specific, on paper, in institutions or outside of these. He uses his practice as a draughtsman as an apparatus to think with. Asbjørn Skou applies drawing as a projection plane onto which he can make visible and explore complex concepts and digest political and historical circumstances.
Reworking images and text extracted from both digital and analogue archives, Asbjørn Skou interpret, juxtapose and dissolve the original sources of material and in his drawings create new layers of meaning and visual stories. Drawing is a space in which he can combine social, political and historical circumstances and despite the very personal and recognisable expression of his drawings, Skou’s work is about that which affects us all on a larger scale, be it power structures, myths or how man-made or artificial agents are instrumental in the creation of crises and critique.
Fie Norsker's practice as an artist has gradually moved from brushstrokes on canvas into creating sharp, colourful and slowly compositioned watercolours on paper. Her works may be seen as mental landscapes as they convey an atmosphere of an internal landscape, rather than a depiction of a concrete reality. Present are creatures of imagination and symbols altogether in a vision that may be of a primordial landscape. The watercolours may express the origin of new lifeforms, of emergence at a cellular level at times and at others the exact opposite, the end of the world, the apocalypse where the world that we know it has ended, giving way to a new narrative.
Each landscape contains an entire universe and the wonder of what has happened before this scenario and what will happen next. Everyday objects appear, as does mythic creatures, at other times vulvas and phalluses all speaking in a multitude of voices and narratives. Present is a grotesque realism, the carnivalesque, that which is beyond the orderly everyday life to which Fie Norsker have direct access and explore in her watercolours.
Though best known for his sculptural works, Christian Lemmerz considers himself a draughtsman. Using lipstick, red crayon, liver, blood, charcoal, clay, and much else, he has been exploring the expressive power of drawing since the 1970s through themes revolving around human existence in the world such as life, death, existence, and time.
Recurring and lifelong motifs in Lemmerz’ drawings are that of Christ, portrayed as a glorified victim of torture, a twilight creature emerging between man and death. Through the Christ figure, Lemmerz can recapitulate Michelangelo’s anatomy and put it to the test again. Another theme is the Divine Comedy where Lemmerz’ in his drawings is inspired by the pleasure evident in Dante’s description of the cruelty. In his latest drawings, Lemmerz started drawing his late parents as he found it interesting to attempt drawing without resorting to photographs and draw their portraits only from memory.