THE INTERKOSMOS REVISITED

– SPACETRAVELLING FUELED BY RUSSIAN COSMOLOGY AND THE SMELL OF DEODORANT

RASMUS NIELSEN/SUPERFLEX

Interkosmos

SUPERFLEX is a Danish artists’ group founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Rasmus Nielsen and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen. Superflex describe their projects as Tools, as proposals that invite people to participate in and communicate the development of experimental models that alter the economic production conditions. Often the projects are assisted by experts who bring in their special interest, these tools can then be further used and modified by their users.

Often their projects are related to economic forces, democratic production conditions and self-organisation. The artists have examined alternative energy production methods (Supergas) and commodity production in Brazil, Thailand and Europe in their projects, which both expose and question the existing economic structures. These artistic activities — as, for example, the on-going project Guaraná Power, in which the artists developed a drink together with local farmers who cultivate the caffeine-rich berries of the guarana plant — are not necessarily opposed to commercialism and globalisation, but try instead to render economic structures visible and to establish a new balance.

Through their projects engaging with alternative models for the creation, dissemination and maintenance of social and economic organisation – such as Copyshop, Guaraná Power, Rebranding Denmark and Free Beer – Superflex have become involved in legal disputes, as well as suffered prohibition orders and police raids, relating to their artistic use of commercial signs and symbols. However, finding that the restrictions placed on their work sometimes led to unexpectedly interesting results, Superflex began to explore the productive potential of prohibition and conceived a series of projects structured to impose regulations on others.

Superflex has gained international recognition for their projects. They have had solo exhibitions, among others, at the Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland (Supershow — more than a show), GFZK in Leipzig, Germany (Social Pudding in collaboration with Rirkrit Tiravanija), Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt am Main (Open market), the REDCAT Gallery in Los Angeles (Guarana Power), Mori Museum in Tokyo, Gallery 1301PE in Los Angeles and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Superflex has participated in international arts biennials such as the Gwangju biennial in Korea, Istanbul Biennial, São Paulo Biennial, Shanghai Biennial and in the “Utopia Station” exhibition at the Venice Biennale. They contributed to the exhibition Rethink Kakotopia shown at the Nikolaj Centre of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen 2009 and at Tensta Konsthall 2010.

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