More news - in English.
Had a visit by Brittany Shoot from Copenhagen Post who saw the exhibition and had a talk with the artist. You can read her review of Killme here:http://www.cphpost.dk/in-a-out/event-calendar/47909-kill-me-marco-everistti.html
or read below.
A life in plastic more frazzled than fantastic
ME Contemporary, Ny Adelgade 7, Cph C; ends 6 Feb; open Wed-Fri 12:00-17:00, Sat 12:00-15:00; www.mecontemporary.com
Controversial artist Marco Evaristti has been accused of many things over the years, but to my knowledge, he’s never been accused of murdering another human being. Best known for putting goldfish in blenders ten years ago and daring gallery visitors to push the button, Evaristti has been called ‘l’enfant terrible’ of the Danish art world. But in real life, he is remarkably approachable and charming. Though it is questionable to some whether Evaristti shares the ‘murderer’ designation with the subjects of his latest artistic exploration Kill Me, his sympathies are apparent, even in his characteristically unsettling creative rendering of ideas and themes.
His most recent showcase follows Evaristti’s 2008 fashion show, and in many ways it incorporates elements on the same theme. Tackling topics including the death penalty, grotesque mutilation, and fascism, Kill Me is the inaugural show at ME Contemporary, a new gallery run by Evaristti’s longtime manager Malou Erritzøe.
If you’re roaming the side streets near Kongens Nytorv, it can be easy to spot the Kill Me exhibition. Based on Evaristti himself, a life-sized plastic man sits in a bright pink electric chair in the gallery window, beckoning a closer examination of the elaborate shop-like display. Inside the show space, Barbie- and Ken-like dolls line the wall, wearing jumpsuits of the same hot pink shade and all strung up for hanging or seated for execution. Only when you noticed that the toy boxes are all numbered and signed do you remember that the art isn’t meant for a morbid playdate. Most amusing - or shocking, depending on your sense of humor - the dolls also play a series of recordings of actual last words from death row inmates. When you press a button on their backs, a small Evaristti mock-up - the female dolls are modelled on his daughter - might say: ‘All right warden, let’s give them what they want.’
On the gallery’s spacious white-washed lower level, a number of objects and sketches complement the dark humour seen upstairs. Covering the walls are Evaristti’s bizarre, graphic and often crude depictions of the most brutal forms of murder, assault, and pain. Men are shown ripping babies from women’s wombs and numerous drawings show men being castrated in a variety of horrifying ways. Several sculptures of human organs, US dollar bills with Charles Manson’s face in place of the historical figure, handcuffs as stylised bracelets, and a dazzling pink shellacked body bag complete the fascinating series.
Some of Evaristti’s inspiration came from an actual death row inmate. In the name of research, Evaristti travelled to Texas in 2007 to meet with Gene Hathorn, who was then on death row for killing his white supremacist father, stepmother, and brother in retaliation for a lifetime of abuse. While many criticized Evaristti for ‘using’ Hathorn, it is odd that no-one mentions why Hathorn is a former death row inmate. ‘He was anonymous before I met him,’ Evaristti told me. ‘But [after we met] he was in newspapers everywhere. If you are no longer anonymous, you won’t be killed. It’s a political thing.’ In addition to raising awareness about cases like Hathorn’s, Evaristti helped raise money for an appeal, and Hathorn’s sentence was commuted to life without parole. After 24 years on death row, he now works as a cook in a prison kitchen.
As a bit of cross-pollination, Evaristti has a one-day show on January 27 at Kunsthallen Nikolaj. As part of a commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day, Evaristti will display another death-themed work called Rolekz Gate, a model of the Auschwitz entrance made partly from gold tooth fillings taken from concentration camp detainees. In the same spirit as the works in Kill Me, mutilation and mass murder are not just unsightly psychotic tendencies to be ignored in everyday life but issues to be considered by the general public. In this case, art should not so much inspire life as conversation.