Ludlow 38 is proud to present the first solo show of Henrik Olesen in the United States.
The ghost behind this show, as Olesen put it, is the figure of the English mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954), the founder of the binary code. In 1950 Turing coined the term imitations when devising a test to measure machine intelligence. His machines remain central objects of study in the theory of computation.
Olesen has developed past and future scenarios for Turing. The sculptures lead the viewer back in time to the early part of Alan Turing’s life. Turing, a man prosecuted because he was homosexual, was given the choice between prison and probation, and eventually accepted estrogen hormone injections as ‘treatment’ of his sexual orientation. The digital collages hint towards the future, where the decomposition of bodies in new digital domains allows a ‘virtual’ dimension, a vast reservoir of potential traits and connections that are contained in an ‘actual’ body.
In his artwork Olesen uses posters, sculptures or architectural interventions. He often works with knowledge that is in the public domain yet remains largely excluded from public discussion. Over the last three years, the artist has researched imagery of homo-social and homoerotic depictions in art and cultural history, as well as reports from and biographies of homosexual artists that attempt to partially reconstruct a lost or deleted history. The formal setting of the image panels displaying Olesen’s findings in his recent exhibition Some Gay-Lesbian Artists and / or Artists relevant to Homo-Social Culture I-VII at Galerie Buchholz in Cologne, resembled the Mnemosyne-Atlas of art historian Aby M. Warburg (1866-1929).
Henrik Olesen was born in Esbjerg, Denmark, in 1967. He currently lives in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include: Portikus, Frankfurt (with Judith Hopf); Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich; Secession, Vienna; Sprengel Museum, Hanover. He recently co-curated the show OH GIRL, IT’S A BOY! at Kunstverein München, and co-edited an issue of the Berlin-based magazine Starship that was also launched at Ludlow 38.
October 24, 2008 2pm: Book presentation at NY Art Book Fair
Printed Matter and Ludlow 38 present Henrik Olesen’s new book: Some Faggy Gestures – The “Mnemosyne” of sexual identity, published by JRP-Ringier. NY Art Book Fair, 450 West 15th Street, admission is free.