Kasper Sonne
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Kasper Sonne (b. 1974) holds a BA from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation. He lives and works in New York.

The work of Kasper Sonne revolves around conceptual strategies, invoked with a certain sense of poetics, melancholia and doubt. Sonne explores how individual and cultural references influence the way we read the world around us, and how meaning is determined by the viewer's own active construction. Sonne treats language as an artistic material through which he questions the idea of transferring or mirroring information, while the use of industrial materials and geometric shapes serves as ready-mades. However, the machine-made materials and perfect geometric shapes are constantly contrasted by human traces and organic imperfections, and where material and form makes the work appear cold, hard and anonymous, it’s degraded surfaces and traces of destruction renders it personal, fragile, sensual and poetic.

Kasper Sonne has exhibited widely at institutions and galleries internationally, including Palais de Tokyo, Paris, SAPS museum, Mexico City, SALTS, Basel, Den Frie - Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, The Moving Museum, Dubai, Primo Piano, Paris, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, White Box, New York, Seventeen Gallery, London, The Hole, New York, Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna and his work has been featured in magazines such as Artforum, Art In America and Flash Art. Kasper Spnne’s work is included in prominent private and public collections around the world, including HEART – Herning Museum Of Contemporary Art, Herning, Denmark and David Roberts Arts Foundation, London, UK.

Borderline (new territory) paintings
As with much of my work, the starting point is my profound interest in exploring dichotomies. The paintings are painted using a roller instead of a brush, in order to first make a perfect monochrome painting. Then they’re set on fire. This action directly negates the former and thus control is contrasted by chance, perfect by imperfect.

TXC paintings
In the 'TXC' series I'm experimenting with toxic chemicals, as a means to make abstract paintings. These works are based on the same concept of "building up and breaking down" as my 'Borderline' paintings, as I first make a perfect monochrome painting - using industrial paint and a roller instead of a brush. Then I pour the chemicals on it. The pigments in the paint slowly react to the chemicals, changing color, and the more layers I pour, the more the original color change. Lastly, tiny crystals form on the surface of the painting as the chemicals dry up, sparkling like glitter. And thus the pieces embody multiple dichotomies, from the concept of creation through destruction, to control contrasted by chance, and perfect by imperfect.

Untitled (vulcan)
In the ‘Untitled (vulcan)’ series I've bought large Volcanic rocks, and covered them in enamel paint. In themselves the rocks can be seen as the evidence of a violent event, a symbol of great force and a memory of a past tragedy. After being carefully painted with gloss metallic car paint, the pieces are placed on the floor throughout the space as a sculptural element, contrasting nature with culture and destruction with decoration.

Bad Chemistry
My latest video piece ‘Bad Chemistry’ is completely devoid of representational images, thus questioning our traditional perception of the media through the presentation of a sequence of written statements. Reading of existential matters in a stream of consciousness type style, each statement is linked to the next by the single word “bad” and projected in endless succession. The statements speak to us collectively in their simplicity and our recognition of them as stereotypes within our culture, but as they reveal neither their origin nor their destination they are left open for personal interpretation.

In my work language becomes a way of remembering, of reflecting and refracting events: “words that become pictures” and “pictures that become words” - in the sense that they create imaginary spaces or experiences for the audience. As a consequence of the displacements of meaning, Sonne demands of the spectator that they actively insert themselves in the experience, and thus suggest that he/she reads meaning into the work rather than decode a coherent truth. In this process the spectator becomes aware of the means: his/her individual and collective cultural references and the impact of the physical and psychological environment that constitutes the framework of the reception of the work and its statement.

General notes on Kasper Sonne’s work
Sonne aims to question the notion of “truth” and inherent meaning through the utilization of dichotomies and by merging oppositions. Sonne thereby suggest that nothing is static or final and that if our beliefs are based on culturally decisions, it means that we can decide for them to mean something else.
Thoughts on how, philosophically speaking, it can be necessary to destroy the past in order to build the future.

Negation - or what Sonne calls “Creation through Destruction”

Simultaneous construction and deconstruction.
Building something up, then breaking it down.
This takes place in all the works, but perhaps most prominent in the paintings, where Sonne carefully paint a perfect monochrome surface, only to set it on fire.

Performance/Action element
Undertaken either by the artist, as in his paintings and sculptures, or by the visitors of his exhibitions, as in his ”steel curtain” pieces.

Dichotomies present in Sonne’s work
Human / Mechanical
Organic / Geometrical
Natural / Synthetic
Positive / Negative
Control / Chance
Perfection / Imperfection
Violence / Beauty
Masculine / Feminine

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