Kukje Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of work by SUPERFLEX on view at the gallery’s Busan space from August 14 to November 30, 2019. Founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, and Rasmus Nielsen, SUPERFLEX contemplates the nature of a globalized world and its power structure while persistently questioning the role of artists within a contemporary society. Titled In our dreams we have a plan, SUPERFLEX’s first presentation with Kukje Gallery weaves together a narrative of power and symbolism mediated by the global financial crisis of 2008. While the exhibition title appropriates the lyrics of ABBA’s Money Money Money (1993), it shifts the original “I” to the plural “we,” hinting at the current crisis that we face not as individuals but as humanity.
Installed on one side of the gallery is the Bankrupt Bankspainting series, portraying the logo of banks that declared bankrupt and were subsequently acquired by other banks, governments, or private entities in the effect of the global financial crisis in 2008. Originally designed to serve as symbols of authority and confidence, the logos now adorn the walls as abstract portraits of failed power structures. On the other side of the gallery is the Bankrupt Bankswall piece, a long black panel in memory of the global financial crisis. Beginning with the statement that Alliance & Leicester was acquired by Grupo Santander on July 14, 2008, the piece is an ever-growing timeline that charts not only the collapse but the consequent reconfiguration of the global financial system. Also visualizing the irregularities of the system is Connect With Me, illustrating the dramatically fluctuating value of Bitcoin, the most controversial currency of our time. The sculptures materialize the abstract flow of the cryptocurrency’s value during an 18-month period in which it peaked the highest thus far.
The financial crisis that hit the world in 2008 quickly deprived us of our faith in advanced finance and quondam trust in neoliberalism. The younger generations that had not had the experience of living through the utopian modernist daysof dreaming of and creating a better future were suddenly forced to witness the collapse of the globalist fantasy and demise of postmodernism. As the human world fluctuates, nature no longer idly awaits. Hinting at the ominous threats of nature is Après Vous, Le Déluge, installed near the gallery entrance. The three blue glass sculptures embedded on the wall indicate the rise of sea level caused by climate change, following the specific predictions of the 2015 Paris Agreement. When the role of contemporaryartists is to provide a new perspective with which to gauge the world, SUPERFLEX seeks to faithfully visualize the invisible powers that propel our present and future.
In celebration of this show, SUPERFLEX also presents FREE BEER in collaboration with Kukje Gallery’s neighboring pub Praha 993, also located within the F1963 cultural complex. Promoting the spirit of not “free (of charge)” but “freedom (of speech),” FREE BEER was first conceived by SUPERFLEX in 2004 with students of the IT University of Copenhagen in an attempt to apply the modern concept of open source and free software to a traditional material product. The recipe and branding elements of FREE BEER are published under a Creative Commons (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5) license. Anyone is thus free to brew their own FREE BEER using the shared recipe and yield profit from it. The “FREE BEER Version 7.0,” launched on the occasion of the exhibition with Kukje Gallery and developed by a Czech brew master based in Busan, is anamber lager with a twist of plum that adds a uniquely fragrant sweetness. Throughout the exhibition period, the “FREE BEER Version 7.0” is available for sale at Praha 933.
About the Artists
SUPERFLEX was founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, and Rasmus Nielsen. Describing their works and projects as “Tools,” SUPERFLEX invites the audience to employ their work as a medium through which to contemplate economic production conditions. Observing various models of economy, the work of SUPERFLEX oscillates between an object of art and an object of practicality. SUPERFLEX has held numerous solo exhibitions, including those at Tate Modern, London (2017), Fundación Jumex, Mexico City (2013), South London Gallery (2009), and Kunsthalle Basel (2005). SUPERFLEX has also participated in numerous group exhibitions and biennales, including the Sharjah Biennial (2017, 2013), Gwangju Biennale (2018, 2002), and Bienal de São Paulo (2006).
Recently in Korea, SUPERFLEX has installed One Two Three Swing!, a modular three-seated swing set designed to promote the significant potential of collective effort and collaboration, near the DMZ at Dora Observatory in Paju. Also commemorating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Denmark and South Korea, the installation is a timely manifestation of the energy of collective power at the politically charged site between the two Koreas.