• May 3 - June 1
  • Erik A. Frandsen
  • Dissociation
  • Project room

While Fredrik Raddum's new exhibition "Lint in the Navel of the World" occupies the main gallery space, Erik A. Frandsen showcases a series of large drawings, mosaics and new paintings in the HAG project room.


The word dissociation means “dissolution” or “splitting”. In psychology, dissociation refers to the phenomenon that the brain, when faced with extreme, life-threatening events, divides and separates sensory impressions to remove attention from what is perceived as dangerous, so that people are able to handle the fear that comes with it. In a sense, you could say that dissociation is the antonym of association. Whereas the brain draws connections between seemingly disparate impressions, memories and ideas through association, dissociation works in the exact opposite way: it is a process of disconnection where the link between concepts, impressions, memories etc. is eradicated. 


In Erik A. Frandsen's case, the concept of “dissociation” is particularly interesting, as he has always been a “connotation painter” par excellence. Especially in recent years, Frandsen's works have been characterized by an almost collage-like juxtaposition, where all kinds of impressions and sensations are intuitively juxtaposed on the picture plane, creating new connections and ways of thinking. 


For Frandsen, the exhibition title is ambiguous: First and foremost, it is about the above mentioned, very concrete human reaction to encountering war, uncertainty and threatening ecological collapse; we dissociate by abstraction and segmentation, we cannot fathom the torments of the world, and therefore we involuntarily focus on the beauty and ignore evil. In this way, the exhibition is a defense of everything that is beautiful, which Frandsen sees not only as a necessity, but rather as an inevitable result of the dissociation process: we need beauty, we seek it, we concretize it. 


Secondly, the title is a peculiar call, an injunction to look outwards rather than inwards. Associating inherently involves a certain amount of introspection and pocket solipsism, but for Frandsen, the interesting approach is found in turning the gaze away from oneself and out towards the world. The dissociative aspect of this angle consists of disconnecting oneself and one's own sensory apparatus (to the extent that this is possible) in order to take in the world without preconceptions. This process is concretely experienced in several of the works in the exhibition, where the individual elements are crystallized as floating, unrelated objects in the picture plane: they exist merely as isolated and independent eruptions of beauty.


What may seem like a carefree victory lap of a masterly painter's inner library of images, is in fact a testimony to a period in the artist's life, where both his own imagination and the world around him have suffered tremendous blows. ”Dissociation” is the story of a world in disintegration and a defense of the devices we use to keep reality at bay. 


"Dissociation" opens May 3 in the HAG project room, and will be on view through June 1.