Gerhardsen Gerner

Yarisal & Kublitz

26 Oct - 23 Nov 2012

Exhibition view
26 October –23 November 2012

Gerner Gerhardsen Gallery is pleased to present the second solo exhibition with the Swiss-Danish artists Yarisal & Kublitz.

The artist duo is known for their often humorous, imaginative works, layering poetic phrases or gestures with poignant, often absurd imagery. For this exhibition with Gerhardsen Gerner the artists have made several sculptures that play with metaphors of material, sexual and spiritual desire.

When the concept of "doll" is considered in the context of African culture, they are usually not children's playthings, but rather objects that are laden with ritual and religious associations within the community, often handed down through generations.
Yarisal & Kublitz have created several fertility dolls – while quite distant from their African phenotypes, they still draw on their meaning as supernatural intermediaries, which are used for ritual purposes.
The sculpture “Fertility doll (records)” consists of three vinyl record covers, displayed in the shape of a diamond. They could easily have been handed down from their parent’s generation, who would have placed their contents on the analogue altars of their record playing devices, with the music quite possibly putting them ‘in the mood’. As record players are no longer standard equipment for this generation, they will remain largely unheard. They are inert packaging now, (time)capsules arranged here almost in the form of an altar piece. Yet they still communicate the ancient songs revolving around desire and longing of women and men and the bedroom et cetera, however bluntly.

Another sculpture with the title “Fertility doll (Chestnut and Jade balls)” consists of three rings set on a shiny brass stand. Two of the rings hold halved chestnut shells, each containing a jade ball, while the middle ring is left empty. This piece may for some have the look of either an expensive bourgeois porcelain mantelpiece figure or a surrealist sex toy, again not far from the notion of reverence or fetish. There is in any case a strong reminiscence of eggcups – containers for the ultimate fertility symbol. Wedding rings or cock-rings, biology and anatomy are alluded to here as well as violence, fragility and again, of course, the male and the female – all classic ingredients of or for propagation.

Many of the sculptures recall Pre-Columbian architectural aesthetics, but are made very obviously post Christopher Columbus. The wall relief “There are no saints, only lack of imagination”, which looks like an ancient artefact consists on closer observation of cast apple cores referring to Adam & Eve's fall of mankind. The sculpture entitled “Charlie and George” made out of metal and US dollar notes recalls the Toltec pyramids. This is another piece, which is not what it first appears to be: a robust brass sculpture not dissimilar to an altar, which on closer observation becomes a luxury cocaine machine. Recreation and procreation, the ancient and the contemporary as well as the phallic and the female are once more superimposed here.

As the sculptures by Yarisal & Kublitz effortlessly embrace the sacred and the profane, humour and pathos and the polarity of the sexes, evoking universal feelings of belief, hope, desire, longing, and obsession, they address something ultimately primeval in us in their weird physical manifestations.

Tags: Yarisal Kublitz