Sculpture + Simulacrum

Psycho-Geographic Spaces

“We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.”  – Jean Baudrillard


Kim Sørensen makes experimental sculptures and installations. By emphasising sound and aesthetics, Sørensen seduces the viewer into a world of white-noise symmetry at the intersection of the day- to –day, highlighting the poetic meaning in everyday life. His latest sculpture Isolation (2016) radiates a psychological minimalism and latent language. Upon entering the sculpture, a dark, disconcerting beauty emerges, an inherent visual seductiveness along with the atmospheric sound of rain on a tin roof, cultivating layers of reflective meaning. His practice provides a useful set of allegorical tools for manoeuvring with a pseudo-minimalist approach in the world of sculpture. These meticulously planned works resound and resonate with images culled from the fantastical realm of the conceptual. With a subtle minimalistic approach, he considers making art a craft which is executed using clear formal rules and which always refer to social reality.

Isolation (2016) is a mixed media, experimental sound sculpture, contesting the division between psychological memory and experience. Sørensen recreates an atmospheric work, in homage to an Australian rain on a tin roof. Aesthetically resilient, interrelated materials become a participatory space for memory and projection. Isolation revives an act of reflection; significations are inversed and sound dissociated from its original meaning. Initially unambiguous meanings are shattered and renegotiated endlessly. Upon entering the sculpture, the participant experiences 12 minutes of complete darkness in a 3 meter diameter sphere. For 12 minutes, the participant is removed from all external influences, completely encased as water falls on the installation. The participant is swallowed by the sound of rain. Inasmuch, the viewer is propelled into a psychological space of reflection and signification. The psyche ruptures, Lacan’s ‘Real’ comes to the fore and is ultimately symbolized.

Sørensen’s environmental mutations derive from an irreversible tendency towards a formal abstraction of elements and functions, as well as distortion, of bodies, of biology, of psychological commands, to the perversion of time and space, of processes where the world stage becomes that of infinitesimal memory and significance. This vertigo of simulation and distortion offers transcendence and depth with the immanent images and soundscape unfolding its complex and labyrinthine communication. A language beyond the gentle fascism of Berlin stereotypes used so frequently that they are considered natural, a language instead saturated richly with meaning, along with their fantasies and unconscious logic. In this, his work rather explores a narcotic contemporary world, of which everyone and everything is ‘in- between’, fundamentally rootless. Such fluidity and nostalgia of the in-between is further highlighted with the lingering sound of white-noise rain. Far from depicting the Noir side of Berlin’s galloping dystopic landscape, the work instead introduces an ‘in-between’ sunshine & noir, as Jean Baudrillard once suggested, places itself ‘beyond’.

In Ecstasy of Communication, Baudrillard proposes the ecstasy of the negative static of radio, the overlap between frequencies that produces a giddiness and fascination. He implies that it is precisely this aleatory and dizzying in-between state that produces a rich repository of expression and communication. The ‘static’ space and sensibility in Isolation affords the participant a viewing of the categorical imperative of language, removed from the theatricality of dialectics and instead, living in a state of ‘other’. It is precisely this theory of psychotropic, interstitial space that exterminates the need to communicate a dialectical position. Sørensen demarcates stylistically in his circumnavigation of the Sunshine & Noir binary, instead, choosing to create a simulacrum of an environment in order to navigate divergent spaces. In Isolation, this exhortation of Baudrillard’s ‘in-between’ state is materialized, revealing an hypnotic equilibrium. Sørensen explains that Isolation intends to “embody personal narratives” as they unfold in the space as a departure point, moments that slip through your fingers, the ephemeral; a representation of a space betwixt and between.

In the words of Baudrillard, ‘We will live in this world, which for us has all the disquieting strangeness of the desert and of the simulacrum, with all the veracity of living phantoms, of wandering and simulating animals that capital, that the death of capital has made of us—because the desert of cities is equal to the desert of sand—the jungle of signs is equal to that of the forests—the vertigo of simulacra is equal to that of nature—only the vertiginous seduction of a dying system remains, in which work buries work, in which value buries value—leaving a virgin, sacred space without pathways, continuous as Bataille wished it, where only the wind lifts the sand, where only the wind watches over the sand.”

Estelle Hoy is a writer and academic based across Paris and Berlin.

Find out more about the artist here. 

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