Danish artist Mikkel Carl aims high at CODE Art Fair

Those Who Are Awake Have a World in Common, While Each Person Asleep Has a World of His Own.

With inspiration from pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus via German Marxist/Jewish mysticist Walter Benjamin (author of the art world must-read essay called “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction), the Danish artist Mikkel Carl presents a deconstruction textbook example at this year’s of CODE Art fair.

Installation view, Code Art Fair 2017. Photo credit: M23
Mikkel Carl: Untitled, 2017, detail. Photo credit: M23
Mikkel Carl: Untitled, 2017, detail. Photo credit: M23

At New York gallery M23’s booth – visible from almost anywhere in the fair, and with a front seat view from the nearby 2nd floor VIP Lounge – you will find three lightweight replicas (including ill-matched foam board skirting boards) of the regular art fair panels, we all love to hate, yet also pretend we don’t really see. But we do – at intervals of 1m – and in the case of Mikkel Carl’s installation even more so, as part of the wall has suddenly taken off Inception-style. Making a ”project”-sized booth twice the size, at least if we talk cubic feet is one shrewd move in a world of ever-increasing art fair costs, and extensive gallery overhead. So if your gallery is in a tight spot (pun indented) this might be your way out. Just get the smallest possible stand, bring your own walls and then start installing – upward. The only obstacle is that you will need a pretty high ceiling like Code Art Fair’s Bella Center (FIAC’s Grand Palais will also do). And rumor has it that Mikkel Carl for pre-preview drinks at Sky Bar on the 23th floor was dumb enough to spill his idea to executive director Kristian W. Andersen – so next year this might instead be a viable model for the fair to increase its revenue.


Installation view, Code Art Fair 2017. Photo credit: M23
Mikkel Carl: Untitled, 2017, detail. Photo credit: M23
Mikkel Carl: Untitled, 2017, detail. Photo credit: M23

In other words, thanks to the attention span of Mikkel Carl, Code’s Crystal Hall, with its impressive full-length skylight, is now evidently more than a horizontal grid at eye level. “When they go low, we go high,” though it’s not equally evident whether the joke is on Mikkel Carl himself since the stall also features his new series of paintings produced utilizing water, metallic spray, a pipette and a heat gun. Think: Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey meets Jackson Pollock’s bigger splash. The individual paintings present a world of their own, yet as the thin black cotton fabric is mounted on mirror foil, they also feature part of the world we all have in common.


Mikkel Carl: Untitled, 2017. Photo credit: M23
Mikkel Carl: Untitled, 2017. Photo credit: M23

Or as gallerist Todd Mauritz likes to put it: ”Mikkel Carl’s subversive interpretation of a commercial art fair stand is informed by his Bad Moon Rising show at GL STRAND here in Copenhagen. Go see.


M23 gallerist Todd Mauritz, Code Art Fair 2017. Photo credit: M23

About Mikkel Carl
Mikkel Carl is somewhat of an art-world multitasker. Besides making and exhibiting his own artworks internationally, he also serves on boards and committees including the Danish Arts Foundation’s Committee of Visual Arts Grants Funding, and works as an independent curator at galleries and institutions around the world. One thing seems to connect his activities: the relationship between language and perceptual experience in the field of art.

http://mikkelcarl.com
https://www.instagram.com/mikkelcarl/

About M23
M23 is an evolving curatorial platform responding to contemporary aesthetics and culture. M23/Project Room is a space for artistic debate, aesthetic and cultural research, knowledge production, and exhibition. Presenting one artist project per month dedicated to the advancement of experimental, innovative, interdisciplinary artistic and cultural practice.

September 15, 2017, M23/Project Room opens a space in industrial Bushwick in a former chroming factory.

https://www.m23.co