IFP welcomes Kasper Hesselbjerg who is doing a 6-month residency supported by Danish Art Council.
Kasper Hesselbjerg’s artistic practice is unfolded around researches about how objects can increase and decrease a subject’s ability to act. A central question in his artistic practice is how objects mean anything. This includes on one hand how objects establish meaning both as a bundle of sensuous data and as signs being part of a cultural order. On the other hand it includes what significance it might have for us how the meaning of objects is established in the sense that objects are part in structuring the way we live. It has basically to do with freedom – what is possible or not possible to do in our daily lives? Kasper tries to link the most common, concrete objects to our most abstract ideas and thoughts about philosophy, politics and ways of life, in terms of somatic effects as well as sensible experiences.
During his residency at the Institute for Provocation, Kasper will mainly focus on tea and the cultural production around tea. Besides as a simplest cultural object, he reckons that tea also has a long history including religion, trade, industry and colonialism, etc. According to the cultural production, he refers to the simple gesture of serving a cup of tea thus creating a social situation. Tea has both been used in introspective practices and as an ostentatious object establishing hierarchy. He is also interested in the literal myths of the names of different teas. Therefore when one encounters the simple cultural object – a tealeaf in hot water – what is included on the level of content is a rather complex matter.
Besides being eager to experience tea servings and ceremonies and learn about tea in general the artist would like to make practical experiments and develop his own presentation of objects. Over the past few years, he has previously been working with food and servings of different edible objects with a focus on “meaning”, aesthetic experience and social exchange. The servings have been gifts and thus included reflections about what kind of relations the objects establish both between the artist and the user but also between the user and the objects. It is a question of how objects can be used to organize and accommodate change in both modes of being and modes of thinking. To Kasper it is part of a negotiation of what art is and introduces considerations about how art needs to be put into use – that is how using art is a work one performs on oneself in order to transform oneself. This aspect seems to him intrinsic to for instance tea culture but he is curious to look for it other places in the Chinese culture.