NB! Due to the severe circumstances caused by the global outbreak of Covid-19, the exhibition is cancelled.
The shock of awareness sends shivers down your spine. Your throat constricts. The world spins as your thoughts begin to ponder the human condition. Have you ever thought about what the meaning of life is? Then welcome to The Void.
With The Void, Michael Würtz Overbeck has created a densely atmospheric exhibition, an existential void similar to what one might experience upon recognising that death is the only real truth. Not only you, but everyone you love will eventually disappear forever. How do you find a foothold when you find that the answers you seek may not exist at all? Each of the works in Würtz Overbeck’s exhibition unfolds some aspect of the sense of emptiness that can accompany such realisations.
The exhibition takes over and breaks down the familiar white cube as Gallery 2 & 3 at Kunsthal Aarhus are transformed into precisely such a void, with dimly lit spaces and impenetrable hallways. The Void closes in around the works and the visitors, who are forced to respond as their own bodies become part of the nothingness. Abstract conditions of existence manifest themselves physically in the room and in the visitors.
The work Doppelganger (2020) is a surface consisting of three angled and staggered layers of plexiglass against a black background. Here, visitors can regard their own mirror image in three blurry versions. The mirrors cause our familiar reality to dissolve, letting a new one emerge. The drawing Not Part Of Me (2020) depicts a human hand left behind like an empty shell.
In all its transient nature, the human body can be perceived as a shell filled with nothing but emptiness. The work Isolation (2020) makes it clear that even when we enter into relationships with other people, feelings of loneliness can still arise. Not even by letting our intimate, personal spheres get tangled up with others can we break free from an overarching sense of isolation. Even together, each of us occupy our own reality.
Michael Würtz Overbeck (DK, b. 1982) works with drawing, objects, installations and video. He often takes a site-specific approach. For Kunsthal Aarhus he has created an immersive installation that can only be experienced here. The Void offers a welcome disruption of the venue as the artist works freely with the space, letting it be engulfed in a new process of sculptural creation. In his practice he deals with one of the basic conditions of human life – a desperate yearning to know the true meaning of existence.
The Void explores how individuals can lose themselves in the wake of the realisation that the pursuit of meaning in life may ultimately prove fruitless. Having reached this absolute point zero, one might easily fall into a state of overwhelming despondency and doubt, lost and alienated in an absurd world. This isolation – or state of exile – produced by this realisation produces boundaries. It separates the individual from other people and affects how we perceive ourselves in relation to the world.