Starting out somewhere not so distant from the testimony gathering and fact-finding methods of a historian, combined with an element of chance, the works in the exhibition propose a counterpoint to previously registered stories of modern architecture and design.
Through an accumulation of collected narratives, historical layers, associations, digressions and formal play, Akhøj arrives at a reconfiguration of significant but lesser known architectural endeavors which have been sidelined merely by force of circumstance.
In the slide installation Untitled (Schindler/Gray) (2006), Akhøj interrelates the histories of two early modern houses: Eileen Grays Villa E.1027 in Roquebrune - Cap Martin, France (1926-1929), and Rudolph M. Schindlers Kings Rd. House in Hollywood (1921-1922). A gruff voiceover narrates the related paths which form a circular tale of almost tabloid dimension of love, murder and ruin.
For the project Welcome (TO THE TEKNIVAL), a work in progress since 2008, he revisits Eileen Grays Villa E.1027. Through an ongoing restaging of a series of images that Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici (her collaborator on the house) published for the first time in 1929, Akhøj examines as well as documents the process of restoration currently taking place at this site.
The installation Abstracta, also a work in progress since 2007, refers to a modular display system designed by the Danish architect Poul Cadovius for a 1960 worlds fair. In this project Akhøj followed a journey backwards in time from the present day scrap yards of post-communist Yugoslavia where he first encountered the system, revealing a surprising tale and semi-circumnavigational route around the world. It concludes where it started, in the high-spirited markets of Scandinavian midcentury modernist design. In so doing he sheds light on production processes both inside and outside modern capitalism. The resulting work is a travelogue and installation of free floating abstract sculptures made from found objects that will be modeled for the space in Wiels.
Kasper Akhøj (b. 1976) studied at Goldsmiths College, University of London, Städelschule - Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt am Main and graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He completed the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York in 2009. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart and Overgaden Institute for Contemporary Art in Copenhagen, 2010. Akhøjs work has also been shown at ISCP - the International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York, 2009; Art in General, New York, 2009; 28th São Paulo Biennial, 2008; Den Frie - Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, 2006 and 50th Venice Biennial, 2003. Akhøj is currently Artist in Residence at the 29th São Paulo Biennial. He lives in Copenhagen and New York.