In the exhibition Work It HuskMitNavn engages our contemporary work lifestyle. In 34 new works on canvas, paper and a sculptural installation, we join the exhausted maid taking a rest on the freshly made hotel bed (Hotel Maid, 2017), the artist in her studio contemplating the first brush stroke (The Studio, 2017) and the White-collar worker caught in a cycle of endless meetings about efficiency (The Meeting, 2017). For all of them, it seems their work is taking up more and more time, to the point where work life seems to equal life itself.
HuskMitNavn comments: “Over the years our work has left the office buildings and workplaces and now it devours everything on its way. Your friends are no longer just your friends, they are also your network. Your half marathon is part of your CV and not only for your pain and pleasure. Your work emails become your holiday reading by the pool, so you won’t miss out while you’re gone.”
In Work it HuskMitNavn continues his heartfelt investigation of the dynamics of everyday life that has been at the heart of his practice from the outset. He engages and criticizes the social structures and norms that surrounds us and shapes our lives. He is never supercilious in his work, he is right there in the middle of it with us, making the right observations and the wrong decisions. He depicts the mundane absurdities, poetic moments and random routines we all go through to make it to the end of the day. The waiter takes a sip from the drink she is serving (The Drink, 2017), the train conductor whistles on as passengers and luggage tumble by (On The Train, 2017), and the pizza delivery boy enjoys a bit of tailwind on his bicycle (Pizza Boy, 2017). HuskMitNavn’s talent and courage is rare, few artists have continuously worked with mundane contemporary issues in the way HuskMitNavn has for the past 15 years.
In the new body of work it is often the children who force us to take a moment for pause or contemplation in our hectic daily grind. The girl who opens her book like a laptop next to her mother working extra hours by the kitchen table (Homework, 2017). The boy who curiously follows the work of the zoo keeper sweeping the chimpanzee cage (Zoo, 2017). The uncoorperative child who refuses to smile for the perfect family photo (Big Smile, 2017). The soaking wet but smiling kids walking through the rain with exhausted kindergarten teachers (Zebra Crossing, 2017). All protesting, in a subtle way, against the busyness implicit in how we live and act. Opposing the logic in propulsion for the sake of progress and advancement. They insist on space to simply live life, and not just being silent side kicks in a “professional” life.
HuskMitNavn explains: “Before I could make a living making art I had various jobs to make ends meet. I worked as a mailman, worked in homecare for the elderly and did various blue collar work. Back then, I was off work when I left my place of work. Now I have a job where everything around me could potentially be inspiration for a new work of art and my work day doesn’t have a clear and natural end. The new works are also a reminder to myself not to let my work engulf everything.”
HuskMitNavn (b.1975) lives and works in Copenhagen. HuskMitNavn has chosen to remain anonymous throughout his career as he would rather have people focus on his work instead of him. Interestingly HuskMitNavn has become one of the most recognized and celebrated contemporary Danish artists with more than a 100.000 followers around the globe on Instagram. He actively uses the medium to promote and instigate creativity. His artist books are being published around the world and it seems his distinct socially conscious practice is resonating with a wide audience beyond Danish shores. He has recently exhibited at MIMA Museum, Brussels, Belgium, Heerup Museum, Rødovre, Denmark, Nordic Contemporary, Paris, France. Concurrently with Work It HuskMitNavn has created a second solo exhibition titled Frame Work that will be on display in V1 Gallery’s gallery II. Frame Work is an exploration beyond the traditional boundaries of the canvas and the frame. HuskMitNavn and V1 Gallery have collaborated for 15 years. Work it and Framework marks his 7th and 8th exhibition with the gallery.