Upcoming exhibitions

SØREN BEHNCKE Mash-Up Banal Intimacies

17 August – 8 December 2019

’The great artwork is a perfection of banality and the shortcoming of most banalities is their not being sufficiently banal.’
From Asger Jorn ‘Intimate Banalities’, Helhesten 1941

The playful and humorous iconography of the Danish artist Søren Behncke (b.1967) is inspired by the symbolic-laden pictorial universe of pop culture. In his consumer-critical and subversive paintings, drawings, collages, and sculptural installations, he reflects on consumer society’s form-reduced visual communication and mass-culture induced fetishes for one-off experiences, affluence, and material waste. Behncke’s astonishing artistic interventions in public spaces in the form of reconstructions of objects in recycled cardboard has earned him the artist’s name Papfar (literally ‘cardboard dad’, Danish vernacular for ‘stepdad’). He has, for example, provided the lion sculpture in front of the New York Public Library with a cardboard chewing bone; the cathedral in Aarhus with a giant cardboard water tap, or launched an alarmingly great cardboard swan through the streets of the Copenhagen district of Frederiksberg. Beyond that, he has commented life’s small everyday ironies and curiosities with paroles and signs made of plastic bags woven through wire fencing across the world.

Søren Behncke’s art uses a universal and banal imagery, referencing the superficial and the temporary thus providing food for thought. Via his simple, subtle, and poetic actions, he imitates, parodies, and probes the meaning of human existence and the mechanisms of culture. Nonetheless, ’Papfar’s’ humorous recycled art also contains manifest global ecological statements and anti-authoritarian calls to break the set patterns of everyday life and instead seek a meaning with life.

For the exhibition at Museum Jorn, Søren Behncke has followed in the footsteps of Asger Jorn and International Situationism. He has visited Jorn’s former studios in Albissola, Paris, and on the isle of Læsø where he conducted many-faceted artistic activities driven by spontaneity and vandalistic play. Where Jorn used overpainting (modifications) and décollage as an aesthetic mix for creating a revolutionary, new, and unique expression based on the art and activities of others, Behncke employs his so-called mash-up technique. Using the shape of a pizza oven as his general motif, Behncke develops a unique, complex, yet banal, mix of action and imagery, the documentary peak of which culminates with the exhibition in Silkeborg.

The exhibition receives generous support from the following foundations:
The Danish Arts Foundation
Knud Højgaards Fond
Grosserer L. F. Foghts Fond
Overretssagfører L. Zeuthens Mindelegat


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