Ditte Gantriis

15.6.2012 - 25.6.2012

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Fernisering: 15.6.2012 kl. 17-20

“Images fascinate us, not because they are sites of the production of meaning and representation but because they are sites of the disappearance of meaning and representation” – Baudrillard.


“Why did the painting go to jail? Because it was framed” – Old joke.


With SERVICE Ditte Gantriis departs from the aesthetics of what could be called Non-spaces – places deeply familiar in their design and mundane appearance and at the same time fluid in their everyday anonymity. Spaces we pass through wait or work in without taking further notice of their arrangements. The office, the mall, corporate lobbies or the franchise store where we buy our coffee as déjà-vues of earlier cups of coffee from similar stores.

Gantriis is picking up different design elements from this backdrop to everyday life. Banners in gradient colours are lining the gallery space echoing both the desktop screensaver and the commercial streamers of fair booths. Fragmented cartoon templates from Danish adult comics are printed onto aluminium and installed against the colourful banners. Even though these elements seem different in their appearances, what they share are certain conformities – designs created for carrying particular connotations without the distraction of making us reflect on what we are actually looking at.

Gantriis is interested in removing the initial function and anticipated meaning of these designs to make them transparent in their structure. The comics are deprived their punch lines and the corporate aesthetic is modified from its initial form and put into formalistic play. Through satirical stretching of conventional shapes and images Gantriis makes the exploration of commercial aesthetics a both desirable and humoristic encounter. But an ambivalence is clearly present between the appealing and tasteless properties of the works, making them hard to love. Working with stereotypes, commercial gestures and notions of contemporary life she examines how objects, images of objects, words and signs are situated in a web of meaning. This multiplicity of signification draws attention to the question of which aesthetics we surround ourselves with, and what emotions we unconsciously invest in them.

By Olga Nowotny