Commission for Banedanmark’s administrative building, Ringsted DK, 2020
Pigmented resin and Railway shards
2 x 300x60x60cm
Banedanmark is a Danish company responsible for maintenance and traffic control on all of the state owned Danish railway network.
Solo show at Kunsthal Nord, 2019
Text by Kunsthal Nord
The virtual world is an essential theme in the exhibition Negative Meadow, which encourages the viewer to explore and sense the intertwinement of the virtual and the present reality. The accelerated evolution of contemporary technologies has affected our perception of time and space, because they are constantly changing our relationship with the immediate reality, and the representation of that reality, on virtual platforms.
The Danish visual artist, Theis Wendt, has worked with installation and sculpture in the specific architectural context of Kunsthal NORD. He uses todays digital flow of images in interaction with the analogue image, to create abstract, spatial installations and sculptures, through which he explores the image as space, surface, reflection and communication.
Negative Meadow is inspired by Kunsthal NORD, situated in the building of a former coal power plant, as ‘the factory’, a representative symbol of how the work force, virtuality, climate change, nature and humans have been fused together in a virtual, omnipresent factory that never closes.
Theis Wendt has been on multiple research visits in order to study Kunsthal NORD and the surrounding city of Aalborg, to ensure a strong connection between the installation and the aesthetic and sensory experience of the building. The architecture of the old coal factory is raw and unpolished. However, through virtual interventions the actual space is expanded and twisted into an alternative reality. The installation hereby portrays a reinterpretation of inner and outer space, an intermediate space where time has momentarily stopped.
The exhibition Negative Meadow may seem dark and dystopian, but there is light in the synthetic darkness. Theis Wendt attempts to place the viewer in an encounter with the world, where seeds of doubt are sown of the world’s material reality.
Group show 'What is Left Behind' at Akershus kunstsenter, 2017
Participating artists: Robin Danielsson / Silas Inoue / Sarah Vajira Lindström / Oliver Kunkel / Theis Wendt
Curated and text by Monica Holmen
The aspects and theories on cause and effect have been much discussed by philosophers such as Aristotle and David Hume. There is a logical and irrevocably connection between cause and effect, action and consequence.
In many guises these are some of the underlying notions in the exhibition What is Left Behind, wherein the five artists base their projects on topics spanning from nature catastrophes and ecological conditions, to contemplation and research on process and formal questions in the studio. Nuclear test bombings, invasive and extinct species, food and flesh, artistic processes and exploration may serve as key words. Consequences of actions – spanning from the seemingly insignificant to rather tumultuous and disruptive outcomes – are visualized in installation, photography, textile, video and sculpture.
Throughout the exhibition we see how these topics resonnate in visual art, but also the outcomes of artistic actions as such. What traces does an artist leave behind in a piece? To what extent is left-overs from the process visible in the finished piece? And how might both local and global conditions echo in a piece of art?
With the two-channel video installation Invisible Presence consisting of Trinitite stones, Theis Wendt poses questions about human’s relationship to nature, and the much-debated geological age of anthropocen who many now believe we have entered.
Projektrum D7, Copenhagen DK, 2017
Text by Rolf Nowotny
This is the tumbling tundra.
A figure tumbling through that tundra,
loose teeth and fell-off shoes in its wake.
That tumbling figure appears to be me.
My body tumbling through that tumbling tundra.
My moss-suit cushions the blows, but my body – purple – green - will be bruished by morning. A dandelion signal stirrs in my nostril EVADE! EVADE! and I slide horisontally through the soggy soil of the hillside and into the oldcold permafrost. Cables snap from my arms and spine and I feel my bloodsugar drop instantly. Stuck between sediments, suspended in time and I have broken an antlar. My signal will most surely be delayed.
I regain consciousness by dawn!
The luxury of a name was never given to me. Where I come from we eat what is living. My sense of language is very rudimentary. We mainly communicate through whistles, taps and clicks. In fact, I do not understand what you say. I stuff my mouth with lichen hoping my signal will improve. Above me eaglecopters circle in a mid-air mating dance. Buzz buzz buzz. I shoot one down and throw it on the fire. Pop pop pop.
Shadows stretch thinly across low growing shrubs commanding me to sleep and I wedge my body between stones and cover it with dirt and moss. I switch my Necrovalve to /Uu. Breathing sky. Goodnight Malevolent Mother. I go into a starless sleep and move on to new flamescapes.
Cinnnamon, Rotterdam, NL, 2015
Gallery press release:
CINNNAMON is proud to host the first solo exhibition of Theis Wendt (Copenhagen, 1981) in the Netherlands. Contemporary communication technologies change our world. To say that the Internet and the screen only broaden our horizons would be an understatement - they shape a new kind of horizon. The novelty lies in the notion that this new horizon does not represent a concept of beyond. When we can see everywhere, the world as an entity bound by bodily experience and physical nearness - disappears. Simultaneously the concept of away disappears in the wake of environmental crises - waste does not simply vanish when its burned or buried and climate change may be more than just a hot topic. In various ways, the three series of works in Lawn Dreamer relate to the imagination of the evaporated landscape in a changing world, but Wendt also aims to enlighten a romantic view on the relation between humanity and human made sublimity.
'Render' consists of eight similarly shaped, glass-like rocks made of resin and gravel. The gravel is not evenly distributed within the rocks: floating at the top as if going against gravity, the gravel suggests there is a rendering process going on - as in 3D software. A seamless, artificial landscape in the making, Render turns upside down the notion of physical reality being mimicked in virtual worlds, as a physical body of works that is informed by
'Sunk' consists of a series of aluminium casts of partly corroded styrofoam insulation plates. Such plates have since the 1950's been extensively used in buildings worldwide. Styrofoam has many properties, one is to ‘outlive’ a human by hundreds of years. In spite of usually being made invisible, the concept of away indeed doesn’t apply to styrofoam insulation. In Sunk the styrofoam plates have been transformed into their opposite – their lightweight and insulating qualities have been rendered into something cold and fossil-like. They are now placed on the walls instead of having a lurking presence within a building’s structure, their transformed surface reminiscent of landscapes.
The series 'Liquids' consists of paintings on transparent textile, stretched on mirror steel plates. The works play with the viewer’s presence and position. Seen from the side, the paintings’ surface appear dense but seen from the front, the pattern of the fabric duplicates in the mirror behind mimicking the monochrome interference that one will experience when reflecting oneself in the surface of a silent lake. Possibly the most ‘romantic’ group of works in the exhibition, Liquids forces the viewer to participate, like the sublime landscape of romanticism could not leave the experiencing subject untouched.
Yet the sublimity of Wendt’s evaporated landscapes is of a different nature. Lying on his back on the lawn - what better symbol for man’s perceived victory over nature? - the contemporary romantic is confined to dreaming about the away and the beyond.
'Still Water Runs Deep', Sculpture Triennial organized by Brandts, 2014
Text by curator Charlotte Sprogoe
Rain falls nonstop on the roof in Theis Wendt´s work. The sculptures reflect a room different from the one they are placed in and time seems to be frozen and indefinable. Withdrawn has been created specifically for Arkaden, an abandoned place which used to house nightclubs and a hectic nightlife. When you enter Arkaden, the absolute absence of organic life is the most striking feature.
The Anthropocene is the name for the epoch where man has had such a massive impact on the the planet that geological systems and nature are manmade. Theis Wendt´s work puts focus on this time perspective. The interaction between organic and inorganic, intimate and infinite and surface and depth is of central importance to the artist. Wendt works with OOO – Object Oriented Ontology – where the world is seen from the object´s perspective: they also exist when we don´t see them, think about them or use them.
It becomes a kind of ecological examination of the manmade environments and traces, but it is also a poetic orchestration of objects on their own.
Group show 'Wintermute' at Grimm Gallery, NL, 2013/2015
Participating artists: Adriano Amaral / Alex Dordoy / Alicja Kwade / Nicolas Provost / Lucy Skaer / Theis Wendt
Curated By Sebastiaan Brandsen
Reduced text from the gallery press release
“Wintermute was hive mind, decision maker, effecting change in the world outside.”
The title Wintermute is taken from William Gibson’s 1984 novel Neuromancer. Gibson’s artificial intelligence Wintermute is struggling to free itself from the digital world into the analogue. Wintermute’s understanding of this world might be artificial, but its longing for this understanding is purely existential. Wintermute connects the work of six international, multimedia artists. Their work stands out in this fast-paced digital world, due to a mixture of sentiment and ambiguity in both subject matter and materiality.
Concerned with the way our relation to the digital image is affecting our perception of physical materiality and presence, Theis Wendt (1981, Copenhagen, DK) investigates our contemporary society of hyper-digitalized culture, and asks how we identify, navigate and communicate with images in today’s day and age. The work ON-Tilted is an expansive installation that unfolds a romantic potential of the virtual. The installation can be seen as an aesthetic extract from a changing world where the clear distinction between authenticity and artificiality has collapsed.
Inaugural show at CINNNAMON, Rotterdam, NL, 2015
Styrofoam, plexiglass, aluminium cast and flatbed print on plexiglass
Each sculpture measure 200x40x50cm