from 'Uncontrolled,' cataloque text by Rune Gade, Space Poetry, Copenhagen
Lars Buchardt's work Slide/Limbo hangs suspended in space, like a curious cross between a sail full of wind and a satellite in weightless orbit around the Earth. Already at first impression one senses a schism between the exhilarating rush of exaltation (the slide) and the endless static immovability (limbo), which the title also indicates. In its totality, as a hanging, metallic bridge carving its way through space, the work is like an overgrown version of Vladimir Tatlin¹s constructivist corner-contra-reliefs. Vladimir Tatlin removed sculpture from its conventional position as an object on the floor and allowed it to be more specifically related to the spatial environment it was integrated in, not put up on a pedestal, but inlaid, part of the room. At a closer inspection though, Buchardt's work proves unlike Tatlin, integrating figurative elements in the form of photographs mounted on small vertical frames which shoot out from the larger, slightly inclined horizontal planes.
A microuniverse reveals itself when one gets closer to Slide/Limbo. The dominating metallic-blank surfaces turn out to be like the foil of a mirror, letting the installation relate to its surroundings on far more than a purely spatial level. The floating installation mirrors its surroundings visually, casting the images of the outside world back onto itself. Not as pure mirror images, which in their perfect illusionary natures would double reality, but with all the distortions and faults which are the result of a more uneven mounting of the foil. One arrives at a miniature version of the amusement park's House of Mirrors, where the normal illusion of perspective is revealed as a construction, picture, only allowing one perspective among the innumerable ways in which a mirror potentially could see the world, if its surface were not just level, but to some dgree curved, convex or concave. Buchardt's mirror foil are everything at once: irregular, random, uncontrolled. The foil of a mirror is such a fragile material; it loses its smooth, flat mirror finish as soon as you work with it by hand. In Slide/Limbo this results in a mirror surface which is very much alive, like a calm sea it seems to have an almost inperceptible motion caused by unseen powers, pitching softly and soundlessly. The installation does not reflect its surroundings in a traditional sense, it distorts them, disturbs them.
The small vertical frames turn out to form a complex and almost impenetrable labyrinth of photographs, most of whose motifs can only be seen distended via the mirror foil mounted on the opposite frames or upside down in the mirror foil of the horizontal surface. You also have to physically adapt to the installation; the installation height means that you have to bend down a bit to see the photographic motifs, if you are of an average height. The motifs of the photographs one awkwardly gains acces to are magically lifelike, more real than reality - not with the synthetic overdose of the real given by the hyperreal, but with the distortion and slurs of human perception. The motifs show different prospects from cities such as Tokyo, Copenhagen, New york, Paris, the exterior urbanite surfaces of asphalt, glass, and steel. Like the elevation of a hybrid metropolis gone amok, Slide/Limbo creates a blown up, cubist perspective in three dimensions. The intensity and distraction of the city, the physical sense of oppression and dizzying claustrophobia are reconstructed with great accuracy in this installation of Buchardt, which also allows this experience to be mixed with associations of the way cities are visualized in the films of the 20th century.The silver screen and the cinema screen, which Buchardt has treated as themes in many of his earlier works, are also some of the references the silver foil carries with it, further emphasized by the scenic photographs in the installation.
Slide/Limbo is a spaced out construction - a strange combination of a space ship, an architectural model, a cinema - combining opposite tendencies such as movement and standstill, play and seriousness, diversity and convergence, the two-dimensionality of the picture and the three-dimensionality of the entity, into a collected whole. The installation creates a focus on the relationship between observer and work, because the calculated ways in which vision is blocked create a particular awareness of the determining nature of the observer's point of view. We cannot at the same time have an overview and know about it in detail, because it is like the city itself, you cannot move into it without running the risk of losing yourself in it, getting lost. Slide/Limbo lands in the cross-field between desire and damnation, which it in a meta-gestus both incarnates and commentates.
Buchardt Estlandsgade 20, 2. tv., 1724 Copenhagen V, Denmark, Phone +45