Museum of Modern Art Opens Projects 94 Henrik Olesen

For Projects 94: Henrik Olesen, on view February 9 through May 23, 2011, The Museum of Modern Art presents new works by Berlin-based artist Henrik Olesen (Danish, b. 1967) made specifically for this presentation. Olesen’s past projects have addressed a range of subjects, including legal codes, the natural sciences, distribution of capital, and art history. For his first solo museum exhibition in the United States, the artist has gathered disassembled electronic devices mounted on large Plexiglas panels, found-object sculptures, and text-based collages, which together exemplify the range of his practice. Linking this group of works is the relationship of the body and the machine, undergoing what he calls “production, reproduction, and self-production.” Olesen has a longstanding interest in the obsession of early modern artists, such as the Dadaists and Surrealists, with the transformation and proliferation of bodies, machines, and systems. In this group of works, he hints at the possibility of liberation from the body, proposing an alternative conception of existence. The installation’s combination of words and objects, which waver between personal and anonymous, reflect Olesen’s view of the state of the body in technological, capitalist societies of the present day. Projects 94 is organized by Doryun Chong, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art. The Elaine Dannheisser Projects series is coordinated by Kathy Halbreich, Associate Director, The Museum of Modern Art.

Coinciding with Projects 94, Olesen’s previous work, Pre-Post: Speaking Backwards (in the Format of the New York Law Journal) (2006/2010), newly adapted for a newspaper format and available for visitors to take away for free, will be displayed in the exhibition Contemporary Art from the Collection, on view through May 9, 2011. The work compiles and collages excerpts from various sources, including studies of historical criminalization of homosexuality, hidden or unknown stories of gay and lesbian artists in art history, and text-based Conceptual art.

Olesen studied at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark; and Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Städelschule, Frankfurt, Germany. A retrospective of 15 years of his work was organized by and presented at Malmö Konsthall in Malmö, Sweden (December 4, 2010– January 30, 2011) and will travel to Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland, in May. He has shown extensively in important institutions in Europe, such as The Nordic and Danish Pavilions, 53rd Biennale Venice, Italy (2008); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany (2008); Museo di Arte Contemporanea del Sannio, Benevento, Italy (2008); Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland (2007); Secession, Vienna, Austria (2004); Palais de Tokio, Paris, France (2003); and Werkleitz-Biennale, Werkleitz, Germany (2002). He also participated in the 8th Gwangu Biennale in Gwangju, South Korea, in 2010.

The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019, (212) 708-9400

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