Body Body Head

Kasper Sonne

October 26, 2018 – November 22, 2018
GALLERY HOURS :11:00 – 19:00
RECEPTION:Friday, October 26, 2018 18:00 –

From October 26th to November 22nd, 2018, Kaikai Kiki Gallery is pleased to present Body Body Head, Kasper Sonne’s first solo exhibition in Japan.

Sonne has gained international attention over the past few years with his simple, elegant exploration of conflict and opposition through process-based abstraction, a conceptual philosophy in which meaning is invoked not just through an artwork’s visual, but through the methods and means of its creation. Aside from the usual tangible materials such as paint and canvas, Sonne has also incorporated the effects of fire, chemicals, and other time-dependent processes into his works, turning them from static images into dynamic pieces with layered histories. In Body Body Head, Sonne uses this approach to explore the dichotomy of the physical and spiritual self, in particular on the growing disconnection between body and mind in our digital age, contemplating the way our identities have become fragmented under the pressure of our social media generation’s anxiety-driven quest for happiness.

This exhibition will feature five new pieces from Sonne’s HP series. Short for Holistic Paintings, the works freely combine things from the artist’s past, present and future to challenge the generally accepted notion that a personality is a singular, stagnant entity. Sonne’s past as a teenage graffiti artist and later as a fashion student are symbolized in the fabrics strewn haphazardly across canvases marred with spray paint. Dripping between these mediums is a thick mass of liquid rubber, a spontaneous element that signifies the unpredictable nature of the present as a force that changes the landscape of the past.

These layers of Sonne’s personal history represent not just his own evolution, but the notion that all human beings evolve over time in chaotic, contradictory ways. This idea directly refutes our generation’s current obsession with carefully curated, one-dimensional online personas; like people, the paintings are not perfect fixed entities, leaving them open to future change. In between the paintings, large black puddles of rubber ooze across the concrete floor of the gallery, blocking the viewer’s footpath. Unable to move freely through the space without consideration of the “black holes” on the floor, visitors are forced to become highly aware of themselves and their presence in the space. Alongside the paintings, the presence of the strange dark pools triggers the viewer to withdraw from the digital world and confront their own physical existence.

Juxtaposed against the paintings and the installation which represent the two physical “bodies” of the exhibition title, the video work Freedom Is speaks to the “head.” Completely devoid of representational images, the work is an endless succession of statements linked by their first two shared words, “Freedom Is….” The recognizable cultural stereotypes in the phrases speak to us collectively in their simplicity, questioning our traditional perception of the media and inciting us to reconsider the true meaning of freedom in our post-internet society.

Body Body Head is a meditation on estrangement from self in the age of social media, a commentary on a generation that retreats into empty fantasy to escape the struggles of reality. Entitled after a Mixed Martial Arts tactic of hitting the opponent’s body twice and the head once, the title suggests that perhaps for us to be awakened from our internet-fueled delusions, it will take at least two blows to the body to realize again that it is actually connected to the head. We invite you to experience this thought-provoking exhibition of Kasper Sonne’s newest works through his first solo show at Kaikai Kiki Gallery.

A Message from the Artist

Over the years I’ve thought a lot about what it means to be an artist and realized, that for me, it’s ultimately about freedom. Freedom to be exactly who you are. Being an artist is perhaps the closest you can come to autonomy within a normative society; you are free from the expectations of ordinary citizens, without having to retreat from civilization. You are an active participant, but primarily on your own terms. In that regard my studio is my sanctuary, my private little kingdom where I serve as both master and slave. It is there I experience total freedom.

Kasper Sonne

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