From the DS Archives: Matias Faldbakken: Shocked into Abstraction

Rise of Rebellion: DailyServing’s latest week-long series

On our last day of our latest week-long series Rise of Rebellion, we revisit the work of Matias Faldbakken as a quintessential example of unruly and subcultural aggression – vandalism, graffiti and destruction – in a body of work that makes you reconsider the role of social and political uprising in our culture, and subsequently, the world of Contemporary Art.

This article was originally published on December 13, 2009 by Seth Curcio.

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Norwegian visual artist and writer Matias Faldbakken is currently exhibiting a new series of works titled Shocked into Abstraction at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, UK. This presentation marks the artist’s first major UK exhibition, and continues his interest into subcultures, vandalism, destruction and abstraction. Working through a variety of media including film, sculpture, installation, photography and wall painting, Faldbakken deliberately transforms acts of destruction into abstract and aesthetic forms. Within these works, acts of social and political aggression are nullified by manipulating the potent gestures into works of art.

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The exhibition contains illegibly sprayed block letters in silver spray paint directly on the gallery walls. The letters have no defining edges and thus bleed together to form an reductive abstract painting. The gallery also contains a stack of Marshall amps which are sold as empty functionless shells. The amps are mere stand-ins for their would-be powerful counter parts. Through this piece the artist highlights the use of sound as an act of aggression by subcultures, while also casting light on the deafening silence of the piece as a minimalist form.

Shocked into Abstraction will remain on view at Ikon Gallery through January 24, 2010. The gallery produced a video with the artist that further explains many of the works on view.