Peter Blum is pleased to announce the exhibition Superflex: Flooded McDonald’s, Superflex’s first solo show in New York.
Superflex is a Danish collective, founded in 1993 by Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, Jakob Fenger, and Rasmus Nielsen. The group has gained worldwide recognition for their projects that deal with such issues as financial and economic markets, democratic production conditions, self-organization, and environmentalism. Superflex bases their international projects on what they describe as “counter-economic strategies,” which aim to question power structures, agency and ownership by prodding at their limitations.
The exhibition Flooded McDonald’s comprises three of Superflex’s most recent film projects. In Flooded McDonald’s (2009), the centerpiece of the show, a meticulously reconstructed true-to-life replica of the interior of a McDonald’s restaurant gradually floods with water – no customers or staff are present. Slowly, the water level rises until eventually the space becomes completely submerged. The 21-minutes film is not a specific critique of McDonald’s or the workings of a multinational company, but instead examines the consequences of consumerism. While the film remains open to interpretation it touches on such issues as climate change and natural disasters.
The four-part video work The Financial Crisis (I–IV) (2009) approaches the current financial breakdown as a psychosis that can be treated therapeutically via hypnosis. A professional hypnotist takes the viewer through four different stages of the crisis (The Invisible Hand, George Soros, You, Old Friends). The hypnotherapeutic narrative ranges from enthrallment in the system of speculation to complete loneliness from having lost everything.
Burning Car (2007)—the first film by Superflex—depicts an empty car on fire. Filmed in a single long take, with a deadpan cinematic approach that features smooth panning shots and close-ups, Burning Car plays with the seductive vocabulary of car advertisements. The film can be seen as a response to the riots sweeping through Western Europe in 2005-2007, and media depictions of political unrest. In many ways, it confronts the cheap sensationalism that turned the burning car into a potent symbol for disorder.
Superflex work and live in Denmark and Brazil. Their work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including solo exhibitions at the Nils Staerk Gallery, Denmark (2009); South London Gallery, England (2009); Prospect 1, New Orleans (2008); Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2005); Schirn Kunsthalle, Germany (2004); Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Finland (2003); Rooseum Malmo, Sweden (2002); Kunstverein Wolfsburg, Germany (1999). Group exhibitions include shows at the Louisiana Museum, Denmark (2009); MOCA Miami (2009); Taipei Biennial, Taiwan (2008); Van Abbemuseum, The Netherlands (2007); Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia (2007); Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil (2006); and the CCA Wattis, San Francisco (2006). Furthermore, Superflex was most recently awarded the George Maciunas prize in 2009.