Asger Carlsen

Feb 5, 2013


In his current exhibition, HESTER, our former interviewee Asger Carlsen presents a selection of black and white photographs from his eponymous 23-part series – traditional yet distinctly contemporary in technique.

In HESTER, the figure is documented then re-presented disfigured and sculpted digitally. “They are anonymous beings. Stripped of their identities, they are distinguished only by the black and white color of their skin, their muscular or obese build, and small details such as birthmarks dotting their skin or painted toenails.“

Carlsen “captures images of models as well as additional imitations of body parts made of modeling compound. In the subsequent time-consuming process of digital editing…he assembles the individual parts that appear in the pictures so as to obscure the sutures. So the photographic act properly speaking is the work of a brief moment in relation to the creative process” which concludes the artwork.

As art-histroian Estelle Blaschke says in his exhibition catalogue essay “Anatomical Games”: “Looking at HESTER, we are in fact unsure what it is we see: Photographs? Sculpture? Photographs of sculpture?… Following the example of abtract art, and more particularly of early twentieth-century synthetic cubism, Carlsen, working on the computer, processes several views at once, deconstructing their forms and reassembling them; the goal not just to depict human bodies, but to render a vivid experience of them. Still, photography has a distinctive penetrating power that painting, sculpture, or drawing lack. Simply imagine, for example, Carlsen‘s works not as photographs of objects but as three-dimensional sculptures made of classical materials such as marble, bronze, or copper. That would presumably make them comparable to, say, Henry Moores‘s sculptures, which are regarded as pure and hyperaesthetic forms.“

Asger Carlsen


February 1 – March 16, 2013
Tucholskystraße 38
10117 Berlin