Ti spørgsmål: Jason Dodge

– Lige siden jeg var barn har lyrik været et vigtigt forbindelsesled til den skrevne verden, siger Jason Dodge, hvis soloudstilling åbner imorgen på Andersen’s i København.

I morgen åbner det københavnske galleri Andersen’s en soloudstilling med den amerikanske kunstner Jason Dodge. Det er karakteristisk for Dodge, at hans udstillinger er baseret på enkle indgreb og simple objekter, men indgår i en større allegorisk ligning, der ofte resulterer i gådefuldt udtryk. Hos Dodge er gallerirummet altid et element blandt flere, som tilsammen danner et netværk af associationer og mulige fortællestrenge, der løber ind og ud af udstillingsrummet, frem og tilbage i tid. Udstillingen i København inkluderer blandt andet et par alternative portrætter af kunstnerens bedstemor og bedstefar, som består i simple indgreb i galleriets indre arkitektur. Dodge har fjernet basale elementer såsom varme og lys – en radiator i kontoret (bedstemoren) og al lys i galleriets hovedrum (bedstefaren). Det er diskrete indgreb, hvor man langsomt fornemmer, hvad der mangler i rummet og i videre forstand måske også mindes om det bånd, som eksisterer i relation til tidligere generationer.

Jason Dodge er født 1969 i Newton, Pennsylvania og har boet i Berlin siden 2003. Udstillingen i København er Dodges første soloudstilling i Danmark.

Jason Dodge  har svaret på Kunstkritikks 10 spørgsmål per email. Vi har valgt at publicere svarene på originalsproget.


How are the preparations going?

Everything is fine, as it was meant to be.

What is the exhibition about? What are we going to see?

The work is about generations, from portraits of my ancestors, to sleeping children. It is a funny question in this case, “what will we see” because the portraits are made by removing something from the gallery as opposed to bringing something in.

Poetry seems to play an important part in your artistic production. Later this month you and Dieter Roelstraete will talk about poetry at Charlottenborg here in Copenhagen. What role does poetry take up in your work?

I am a terrible reader, I get distracted reading more than a page, even when I am exited about what I am reading. Poetry saved me, something I could read!! Since I was a child, poetry has been the important source of a connection to the written world. Now I know some of the poets I admire, and it brings such an amazing richness to my thinking.

How would you describe your working method?

I try to always find new ways to work, I will go through periods where I try things I have never tried. I am interested in seeing as feeling and thinking, which can be a confusing way to work. I think this is the key to my recent obsession with the work of Pierre Bonnard, he was the master of seeing as feeling, amazing!!

Your works often play with notions of visibility – and invisibility. Only because of the title does the beholder learn what she/he can’t see in Emeralds Inside an Owl, 2009 (emeralds inserted into the body of an owl). The same goes for Poison Hemlock in an Alto Flute, 2009. Is it a game of trust, or what does this strategy mean to you?

We don’t know what most things are, or where they have been, or what is in them. Who is heartbroken, who is carrying a weapon, how much electricity, how deep is that pipe, who wore that, what country are the inhabitants connected to through that satellite dish. As the world is this, I think it is an interesting way to approach sculpture.

You have been living in Berlin for many years. Does this city still provide a good working environment?    

Having a family in Berlin is a dream, a provincial life in a major city – there is plenty of time there, a slowness and grayness that can make people nuts but I love it. Berlin suits the way I like to work.

When and why did you become an artist? 

My father is an artist, I guess I thought it is just what one did.

How do you see your role as an artist today?

To make things that I really mean, that say something about being alive and a person, and always challenging myself, sounds silly in this context, I know, but that is it.

Can you mention any current art projects or other practices that inspire you?

I really liked Sergej Jensen’s show at Galerie Neu in Berlin.

What would you change in the world of art?

I wouldn’t change something. We, collectively mark our time, inclusion and exclusion rarely stays the same. It is amazing to see how many artists are able to live from being artists, how is that anything but good?