Since graduating from the Royal College London MA Sculpture course in 2007 I have been working on three groups of works which all take sculpture as their point of departure, but using it differently in each one. Each group of works formed an exhibition, two at Galerie Ruediger Schoettle, Munich, and one at Hotel , London. The first in 2007 explored the potential of the bust as a contemporary sujet plaster cast heads, whilst wall works consisted of reliefs made of plaster board and paper. In 2008 I replaced the expressiveness of the classic bust with sculptures made of industrially produced objects and wall works using computer magazine covers and dream car posters. Contemporary obsessions with real and computer viruses, preserving cleanliness and promoting speed informed this project. It was important to me that the work is not commentary on the readymade, and is not merely about art historical referencing. In 2009 I moved further away from traditionally expressive gestures and took the interface of my personal computer as the very subject of my work. Usually what goes on on computer screens is not considered worthy of aesthetic consideration â€“ it is purely seen as a tool to work with or view what is inside the program windows. In my works the computer is no longer means to an end â€“ instead I used the elements of its own appearance to make new pictures. The graphic elements like scroll bars simulate the three-dimensionality of a real office desktop. Sculptural ideas are taking shape in 3D renderings of ficticious scroll bars for example. An actual sculptural presence is only given by the very flat aluminium boxes onto which the pictures are stuck on with self adhesive foil used for outdoor advertising.
My work is trying to walk the line between displaying and hiding of skill and self expression. Iâ€™m driven by a desire to do this exploration in a language that is of today, using everyday objects and graphics and interfaces, not as commentary or art system references, but as a pure new language made up of the noise and clutter of consumer and information society. By making pictures and objects that look as new as the products around us, I want to acknowledge the world I live in as a thoroughly designed one.
A FILE RATHER THAN A TEXT? BY DOMINIC EICHLER
Anders Clausen, Solo Show, General Hotel gallery, February 2010
A recent unscientific survey in my head suggested that fewer and fewer people want to grow up to be art forgers or computer hackers. Why? Are we just too busy being vaguely fascinated by our so terribly nice-looking tools? Are there already new specific words for states like the numb distraction you feel when you canâ€™t find a file on your desk top in an instant? When you are so used to an interface that you donâ€™t think about it any more even though you look at it thousands of times a day? When you canâ€™t even tell the difference between it and you? When you sit at a screen all day long and it really does feel like your very own super-connected personal window on the world as you want to see it, or for what happens when the interface suddenly but inevitably changes? Art generally feels more comfortable with obsolescent media and conspiracy theories. For art wanting some kind of critical distance on progress, old out-dated technologies offer solace - handwriting, the typewriter, Super 8, handmade collages, screen-prints, photographs you printed yourself. Itâ€™s easy to forget that some classic Pop art (before digital windows popped-up) once looked bitingly newâ€“â€“like ironic, ultra-cynical, visual feedback embracing the enemy and loving him hard. Mimicry and camp repetition thankfully remain both the cruellest and most effective strategies in social interactions involving encoded, oblique but omnipotent power relations. You are the consumer, the user and we have designed places for you to feel happy and to get things done. So whatâ€™s wrong? A few years back a Singaporean artzine designed by a group of art graduates satirically suggested to its readers that they should put away their expensive laptops during studio visits in order to seem more authentic and less spoiled. In the last years I find it hard to think of a studio visit without one. Thatâ€™s not necessarily bad but maybe itâ€™s time to own up to our tools and our deeply ambivalent relationship to them. Donâ€™t question my production, my post-production, my continual interruptions, my worm-like digressions. We all face questions relating to formats and fitting nearly everything we care to do or imagine into one which rarely works whatever operating system or programs you happen to be using. Art history has many windows opened. I wonder what abstract artist Hans Hoffman would think of Anders Clausenâ€™s screenshot series? Some of which, by the way, are straight up replica lies or reconstructions of the eerily friendly, the overfamiliar and mega-strange, and others, which are both appropriations and confessions. Pushed and pulled this way and that by various kinds of subjective urgencies whether sexual, financial, professional, micro-social. Each formal scheme overlays others. Something elseâ€“â€“letâ€™s admit that most collages donâ€™t look like collages any more they are much too sneaky, beyond doubt â€“ thatâ€™s what we want isnâ€™t it, not the past and not more realness but far, far less? Translucent, seamless, beckoning, rupture-less, untouchable and easy. Most images we know are pumped up. When you scroll down where are you going? When you scroll up again is everything still there?